Class 29 Blog: This is a blog series about the experience and impact of Scottsdale Leadership’s Core Program. The views expressed here represent those of class members and not those of Scottsdale Leadership.
Did you know that the Miranda Rights case was decided right here is Arizona? It’s true, and you can even see the actual judicial bench where the case was heard when you visit the Arizona Capitol Museum. In addition to the history and architecture of the museum and the Wesley Bolin Memorial Plaza, Class 29’s State Government Day was a great opportunity to get the basics (and some real specific details) regarding the three branches of the Arizona government.
Our State Government Day was filled with interesting people and facts. As a brief overview: Mike Braun explained the process of a bill becoming a law. On average approx. 1,700 bills are drafted each session and this is whittled down to approx. 300 actual laws. Richard Stavneak provided an overview of the recently passed State budget. Chris Herstam threw open the curtain on the politics with topics ranging from independents’ lack of voice in government to dark money influencing elections / policy. My personal favorite part of the day was Marshall Trimble, Arizona’s official State Historian. I am impressed with all of the facts, stories, and anecdotes regarding Arizona’s history. (If I may recommend, as Arizonans we should all know the story of how Phoenix became the capital of AZ – the legend of “Kissing Jenny” and the glass eye was very interesting.) Representative Eric Meyer told the class how he became involved in local politics specifically regarding education issues and that evolved into his eventual election. Class 29 even had the opportunity to meet two Arizona Supreme Court Justices.
From my point of view, the major topic for the day was to get informed and get involved. Mr. Herstam shared his thoughts about the four typical kinds of legislators: 1) those in the job because they care and want to solve problems; 2) those who are ideologically driven – supported heavily by their respective base; 3) the political animals or political ‘climbers;’ and 4) those who cannot get a job elsewhere. Do you know who currently represents you at the city or state level? Do you know which category of legislator they fit in? The fact of the matter is that your representatives are making decisions that affect all of us on a daily basis – are you satisfied with these decisions and corresponding outcomes? If not, your best course of action is to become informed, speak to your representatives, work on campaigns that align with your way of thinking, and if that does not work – Run for Office!