9/20/2013 11:07:00 AM CFHS senior reflects on legislative experience
by Sue Sullivan
Now a senior at Cannon Falls High School, Megan Bauer reflected on her July trip to Washington, DC to attend the American Legion Auxiliary's Girls Nation. As a "Senator" representing Minnesota, Megan states that she is "incredibly grateful to the American Legion Auxiliary for affording me the opportunity to go."
She was one of the two girls chosen to participate at the Girls Nation week-long event, from the 400 Minnesota juniors who attended Girls State in June.
At Minnesota Girls State, participants "developed our own government framework, voted for representatives and even drafted laws. Girls Nation, though similar (to Girls State), encouraged participants to apply their new-found knowledge in a legislative setting," stated Megan.
One bill Megan references when discussing her Girls Nation experience is the Pipeline Environmental Protection Act, which would mandate physical inspections of oil pipelines annually, by government certified and trained inspectors.
Strong personalities clashed with more than half of the girls wanting to run for Girls' Nation president. Though some in attendance "had difficulty separating their political agenda from their debates," Megan explained that "everyone had the same basic goal and that was to make the 67th Girls Nation Congress the best it could possibly be. To be honest, I think we succeeded!"
Megan was especially pleased that a record number of bills were passed by the Girls Nation congress and that several managed to present their bills to actual legislators.
A highlight of the trip for Megan was when her political role model, U.S. Senator Amy Klobuchar of Minnesota, spoke with each of the Minnesota representatives individually.
Concluded Megan, "Nothing we did was without a deep respect for Girls Nation and the states we were there to represent. Girls Nation was even greater than I expected."