Amanda Robbins' Letter to the Editor on the State Government Session
On Tuesday, May 20, the 2014 Leadership Tangipahoa Class attended its last session as a class, held at the Louisiana State Capitol in Baton Rouge. Participants enjoyed a packed visit filled with tours, food, legislators and more.
Our class was greeted at the Capitol by Representative Stephen Pugh (District 73). Rep. Pugh was a lively tour guide, telling tales of Capitol intrigues of the Huey Long Era as he led us through the House of Representatives and Senate Chambers, the Governor's Press Room, and other sites of the Capitol Building. Next, our class attended Committee meetings (Commerce Committee and Civil Law Committee) and saw our Legislators both serving on committees and representing proposed legislation. I was impressed with the Building and tour; our legislators introduced the group to many other Representatives, leaving us with a sense of camaraderie and respect for the wishes of their constituents and the work of the State.
Our class enjoyed a beautiful and tasty lunch at the Governor's Mansion, provided by Tangipahoa Parish Convention and Visitors Bureau. The Governor's Mansion was a beautiful retreat from the hurried pace of the Committee Meetings. Our tour guide of the Mansion shared the history of the Mansion, including the beautiful Mural in the main foyer of the building. The Mural's artist included objects or symbolism to represent our Governors, Hurricane's Katrina and Rita, our State Flower and more. I was also impressed to see a wall dedicated to the outstanding art of the Children of Louisiana, begun by current Louisiana First Lady Supriya Jindal.
Senator Bodie White shared lunch with our class, taking the time to meet each member of the group. Sen. White spoke with us regarding the future of his district, his goals and concerns for the Legislative Session, and the process by which districts are defined by the U.S. Census. I was pleased to hear that funding for Southeastern Louisiana University was a priority for Senator White and Representative Pugh, both mentioned the University in their plans for the session.
After lunch, our group returned to the Capitol to watch the roll call for the afternoon session. Our next stop (just a block away!) was the Louisiana State Museum, the Capitol Park Museum. Our class was welcomed to the museum by local Radio Host, Rosa Dunn. Rosa graciously served the class treats from the Cocoa Bean Bakery in celebration of the end of the Class. The Capitol Park Museum, informative and structurally appealing, celebrates the history of Louisiana and its cultural heritage. My favorite areas of the museum were dedicated to the Music of Louisiana and the Festivals!
I am sad to see my year of Leadership Tangipahoa classes end; this experience has been an eventful journey of exploring my community and learning how the various entities work together for Tangipahoa Parish. I encourage all who are interested in bettering our community and connecting with the best in Tangipahoa to consider the Leadership Tangipahoa experience, applications are available at www.leadershiptangi.org.
Happy Graduation, Class of 2014!
By: Amanda Robbins
By: Amanda Robbins