A Few Words on Legislative and CONA

I’m Annika Anderson, a sophomore at Appleton East, and this will be my fourth year in YIG. I spent my first year in the Press Corps, but I have done Legislative for the past three years. I’m a part of the Fox Cities Delegation. The Legislative branch deals with mock bills and debating.  The Legislative branch focuses on parliamentary procedure, the process through which every bill is debated and dissected, also encouraging and building on public speaking skills. Every delegate gets to write a bill, and if passed through two chambers and signed by the youth governor at Model Government in Madison, the bill may be brought to actual legislators.  At Model Gov, debate becomes almost charged with energy, and when you watch people passionately defend their opinion, pulling out statistics and facts that you had never heard of, it’s an eye-opening experience. You have the opportunity to learn thousands of new things through the course of debate. The debate floor is a safe space, where you’re free to speak your mind on the issues without fear of ridicule, and where you’re free to change your stance on the issues without being mocked. If you are recognized by your peers as an outstanding program participant, or if you are an elected official, you get the chance to go to the Conference On National Affairs, or CONA, in North Carolina over the summer. CONA is similar to the Legislative branch, but on a national and international scale, with proposals ranging from tax reform to foreign policy. It’s a chance for you to develop close friendships with the twenty-four other delegates from Wisconsin over the week long conference, and even make friends from other states. In between all of the rush and excitement, realizing that over 600 students from across the country all came together for the same reason that you came is a mind-boggling and humbling experience. Youth In Government has proven to be an incredible adventure, a place where I can be exposed to opposing viewpoints in a non-hostile way, and a place where I can share my own stance without fearing being yelled at for disagreeing. Youth in Government is a program where everyone’s voice is heard.

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