June 19, 2019 Online version found at www.vagirlsstate.org
Best quote of the day, “The counselors weren’t kidding when they said today was a long day”
Tuesday was a day full of cities in session, assemblies, and activities. The citizens of ALA VA Girls State rounded out Tuesday with party conventions to select candidates for “The Big Three.”
It is with great pleasure that we announce the Federalist and Nationalist Governor, Lt. Governor, and Attorney General candidates for the 2019 session of ALA VA Girls State…
AG: Elizabeth Reese
LG: Kelly Jones
G: Mya Manson
AG: Zoe Riddick
LG: Zoree Jones
G: Lana Al-Saloum
Today, Barrett had a fun filled day and learned firsthand how the government really operates. The Barrett citizens that are a part of the House and Senate got to try their hand at writing bills while the city officials got the opportunity to form committees and really put their genius to work. We then had the honor of listening to the honorable William Bolling who preached how unity between parties is essential. This further motivated us Barretts, whether Federalist or Nationalist to get closer together as friends and as fellow citizens. We finished off a jam-packed day with a quick convention where both the Nationalists and the Federalist got to see who will be representing our respective parties. We can’t wait to see what great things are in store tomorrow.
Gabby Moreno and Elizabeth Wahlin
“If you’re not failing every now and again, it’s a sign you’re not doing anything very innovative” – Woody Allen.
It’s the second and final day for Party Conventions. Some of us have run for positions that we wanted but were unable to win. Some of the ladies here at Clark made it to second and third rounds of voting but didn’t let the fact that they didn’t win deter them. Delegates were able to keep a smile on their face even after they had come so close to a position. They were honestly just so happy to have made it so far.
Today was also the first day of activities for a lot of people. Understanding the Judiciary was an amazing activity and everyone there was so interested, actively participating, and asking questions. Some are stressed either because of Moot Court or because they were preparing their speeches and some still are for Girls Nation. They work on it even during their meals, but still have the energy within them to joke around and have fun. It doesn’t matter how stressed we are, the Clark girls are holding on together and making their Girls State something to remember.
Katherine Walker and Diana Revilla
CRUSH CRUSH, what a rush!!
Tuesday was quite a whirlwind for the girls from CRUSH city. Our very own Zoree Jones was nominated for the nationalist party lieutenant governor!! All of CRUSH will be rooting for her during Wednesday’s election. No one will ever doubt that CRUSH girls have spirit, the Girls State store and all of our wallets certainly agree. We all rocked that spirit at the four hour party convention. With the help of a few smuggled Goldfish and maybe a fruit loop or two, the four hours seemed to fly by and we killed in the caucus. Finally, after a long night, the CRUSH girls went to bed happily dreaming of girls state’s newest patent-worthy innovation: the mug brownie sundae.
Kelsey Briggs and Karina Guevara
Legislation Makes a Start at Draper
Everyone at Draper got themselves ready for the day in store ahead, starting with their first instance of legislating. The girls selected for office were sworn in to make their position official. Then, they, as a city, organized and conducted themselves in civil conduct as they determined if they should have a pizza party or an ice cream party, what flavors they would bring, among many other serious topics.
Afterwards, different committees throughout the city were formed with enthusiasm, with many citizens eager to take them up, some even taking up to two jobs in their committee!
As the long day comes to an end, we once again are able to voice an opinion. This time, though, on our Attorney General , Lt. Governor, and Governor positions. All of the girls down at Draper City are very excited and still have plenty of motivation throughout the whole day! Draper City has lots more to do, but as the sisters are getting even closer we are helping one another and building each other up, as a great City would. (Pictured: Draper’s City Council being sworn in.)
Sydney Dudley and Ashlyn Herring
It was an exciting Tuesday for the citizens of Lewis as they gathered in a city session led by newly elected Mayor, Paige Hennen. At the session, multiple motions were passed after in-depth debates and discussions. Lewis created one tax for tardiness to role call and another for falling out of the two by two lineup while walking around campus. “The city session was a new experience,” says Katie Woods, a resident of Lewis. “It was fun to watch everyone throw in their opinions and ideas.”
Lewis is so proud of Tristen Craig who was elected to serve as Party Chair for the Nationalists. “It is a lot of standing and talking. I would help the candidates and encourage them to do their best and make sure they were confident,” says Nationalist Party Chair, Tristen Craig. “It was definitely exciting but also very tedious.”
Looking forward, the citizens of Lewis plan on continuing to grow closer in friendship and excitement, striving for excellence and working to “be bold”.
Juliana Calvert and Anna Groff
The third day for the Madison mad dawgs was full of exciting meetings and important guest speakers. At the morning assembly Mary Waclawski spoke about her time at Girls State and encouraged others to go out for Girls Nation. After her the former Lt. Governor, spoke about his job and what inspired him to get into politics.
For the mad dawgs, the city session brought forth several ideas for new ordinances, taxes, and resolutions to be voted on by the city council later. Many delegates were appointed to different communities during the city meeting. Today was also the first day of activities for many filled with exciting insight into different fields and people’s careers.
After a long convention candidates were selected to run for the big three positions for both Nationalist and Federalists. The mad dawgs are excited to know who will win and for the rest of Girls State.
Idayziah Jones and Stephanie Welbaum
Another day, another report. The grind just doesn’t stop in Monroe City! Breakfast went by in a blur, and soon we found ourselves back in city session, drafting taxes to better our city maintenance. Following our meeting, we had the pleasure of listening to speeches from Mary Waclawski and The Honorable William Bolling. Afterwards, we scarfed down our lunch, making sure to get ample portions of ice cream. Carissa, the mayor of Monroe, participated in the separate Mayors’ Luncheon. After activities, the city of Monroe quickly went to work, campaigning for our candidates--Mya Manson nominated for Governor for Federalist and Zoe Riddick nominated for Attorney General for the Nationalist. Congratulations, ladies! We are getting down to work for you!
Liz Tomlin and Emmaline Eskridge
It is common to get discouraged after losing a campaign, but Mary Waclawsku, the 2018 Girls Nation Delegate from Virginia, told us why it is imperative to work past these losses. Waclawski herself lost multiple campaigns during her time at Girls State, and wondered if she wanted to try for Girls Nation at all. When the day rolled around when candidates would be selected for Girls Nation she decided to try. Through her example other girls here at Virginia Girls State can be inspired to keep persisting despite past failures.
In addition to Mary, William Bolling, the former Lt. Governor of Virginia, spoke to us about excessive political polarization of our time and how we can fix it. Civic engagement was the first point of his plan. Over 50% of the eligible population does not vote. His next point was civil conversation. In other words “disagree without being disagreeable”. And his third, and final, point was compromise. It has become common to be so firm in a belief that neither side is willing to compromise, but compromising is essential to democracy. It is his hope that our country come together to carry out these points and save our democracy.
Angela Lee and Ashley Manheim
Each and every member of the city of Preston popped out of bed around 7 o’clock to head to their second Longwood style breakfast of the week. After loading up on pancakes and eggs, the ladies headed off to the daily flag raising ceremony where Emma and Makayla delivered inspirational quotes to bolster the girls’ energy for the remainder of the day. Preston then divided and engaged in city meetings, as well as the first meetings for the state legislature participants. The Senate and House of Delegates worked diligently to create, propose, and draft bills for the benefit of VA Girls State and Virginia as a whole.
All cities then attended an assembly featuring 2018 Girls Nation Senator Mary Waclowski. After she entertained the delegates with stories of her Girls State experience, former Lt. Governor of the Commonwealth of Virginia Bill Bolling spoke to the group of accomplished young women about his knowledge regarding local government. After more meetings and activities, the Preston girls attended dinner, fueling them for their separate party conventions which ended promptly at 11 with a coterie of bright and talented young women to represent 2019 VA Girls State. It was an epic second day in Preston and the rest of the week looms spectacularly around the corner.
Adaline Nolley and Lola Heniger
As Randolph puts another successful day under our belt, many citizens were more than ready for lights out. Citizens Samanjha and Lauren shares two very inspiring quotes with all of us during flag raising and roll call. Breakfast and lunch were full of campaigns for our Attorney General candidate (Nuha Khan), Lieutenant Governor candidate (Louise Byrne), and our Governor candidate (Hannah Lesher). Though none were elected to represent their Party, we were all proud of their dedication to preparing for the convention and giving their campaign speeches. Our City Council enacted several taxes to help citizens become better members of society in addition to a few ordinances. One encouraged citizens to show kindness to all Virginia Girls State attendees. The House of Delegates and Senate were hard at work drafting legislation to hopefully be passed by presiding Governor Candice Mulinda. We are excited to continue forming our local and state governments for the remainder of the week!
Kylie Heapes and Mia Lazar
Tyler city’s newly elected House of Delegates and Senators left to start legislation for the first time. In the House, Tyler delegates worked on passing a bill that would expedite DNA testing for rape tests. A Tyler city member from the Senate says that one of the bills she worked to pass was for providing free sanitary items to girls in public education. She reflected on the experience, “it was cool to see things I care about coming to fruition.” The members of Congress will vote tomorrow to see whether or not the bills will pass.
Tyler city created committees to help the city be beautiful, safe, and well rounded. An active member of the Public Safety committee wrote that, “a city wouldn’t be a city without the people, so we have to keep them safe.” Tyler city values the happiness of each of its citizens and works to improve this with the Committee of the Arts and Spirit committee.
Eve Austin and Julia Finken
Vance’s fledgling government took its first steps yesterday with the creation of a set of new ordinances. These ordinances seek to rectify Vance’s chronic condition of lumpy lines and city nap sessions. With the fear of fines hanging over our heads, the usually sleepy citizens of Vance woke newly invigorated for today’s city session. Today’s agenda included the finalization of the ordinances, establishment of a party planning committee, and the creation of a city seal (sporting our beloved mascot ‘Lena the Llama’). Friday night holds great promise for the city of Vance. The Longwood stage will be graced by numerous musical acts, including but not limited to a piano performance and group tribute to U.S. veterans. All in all, the city of Vance, while unimpressive in public appearances, is truly a family in private.
Hermela Million and Bonita Boyer
After paying respect to the flag, the city of Wilson swore in its respective officials. Thereafter, all citizens began their quest of exercising their democratic right and responsibility to participate in government. Citizens broke off into different committees within the city to give their input and make a change. Meanwhile, Wilson legislators put forth its best candidates for Speaker of the House and Minority Party leader but unfortunately did not get the position they desired. However, in spite of the loss in election, they were not disheartened. They remained positive and to the best of their ability represented the citizens of Wilson when drafting bills. Wilson is proud of all of its legislators that emerged as leaders and served as peacemakers within the state. One of Wilson’s best delegates, Kaitlin Schler, is quoted saying, “Today made me realize how congressional legislators put in a lot of work to get people to agree on something...it’s really an ordeal.” Overall, the day was productive in introducing citizens into real life government jobs. In the words of our guest speaker, Bill Bolling, citizens should be open to “civic engagement, civil conversation, and compromise,” and that’s precisely what Wilson citizens did.