My Experience at the Utah State Legislature: Week One, Initiatives

Utah State Capitol

My first week at the Legislature was enlightening and eventful. Mind you, I am not a novice to the process (at least on paper) and I have been teaching law making, Roberts Rules, participating and running nearly a 100 simulations, etc. for years, but I have never actually been in the trenches day after day, so this is a great adventure.

My schedule has stabilized to rising at 5am, at the capitol by 6:30am and back to my temporary residence (the home of the Malmstrom’s, thank goodness for good friends) anywhere from 7-10pm.  Let the games begin!

Intern David May Office of Representative Brad Galvez

I was able to arrange a legislative assistant position in the office of my long time friend Rep. Brad Galvez. Everyone should be so fortunate to see valor, conviction, and principled determination at work.

While Rep. Galvez was immediately thrust into the machinery of legislating, my guide for the first couple of days was his wonderful wife Lisa.

It seemed that it took us an hour to walk what should have taken a mere 5 minutes, She knows everybody, and she went right to work introducing me to representatives and senators, pages and interns, green coats (security and hosts) and even janitorial and kitchen staff.  I give her an A+ for networking–which is a very real part to success on the hill.

The Capitol Rotunda

I wasn’t there a day before it became clear what I would be spending most of my time on: Article V, Public Lands and Legal Tender (more on these later).  Aside from my daily duties of briefing upcoming bills, attending committees and House floor debates, partaking in the numerous lobbyist meals and lectures, contributing to speech writing and prepping for my own lectures for constituents, I have already been involved in a number of meetings getting up to speed on where these three initiatives are headed and how I can contribute.

 

It is important to realize that while here, I am doing little to earn a living.  Julia and I spent significant time discussing this path and we finally determined that if I was going to grow and continue to fulfill my mission, we needed to make this sacrifice.  I am confident that it will prove being worth the effort and missed income.

 

22 Comments

  1. Julie Farnbach
    Jan 31, 2012

    Awesome! I’m jealous. How long will you be there?

    • Shanon Brooks
      Jan 31, 2012

      Julie,

      I am here until March 8. The whole session.

  2. Alix Kowalczyk
    Jan 31, 2012

    Very exciting….the experience will be priceless I’m sure. Eevn better to be working with a principled representative (those are rare here in NY)

    • Shanon Brooks
      Jan 31, 2012

      Those are rare everywhere!!

  3. Scott Mitchell
    Jan 31, 2012

    Post us more details when you have the chance!

    • Shanon Brooks
      Jan 31, 2012

      Yes sir, I am on it.

  4. Wendy Ray
    Jan 31, 2012

    Thanks for being at the Legislature!

    Daniel and I each took one entire session when we lived in Provo (including months of preparation and meetings)(I went with a 6-month-old in tow, who was a great ice breaker). We helped Eagle Forum (a pro-family group) by attending meetings, taking notes, reading bills, talking with Representatives and others… that was 8 and 10 years ago! It’s high time we make a way to do that again.

    I’d recommend the experience to anyone. It’s amazing to be there and learn about it all first hand. The education is worth the sacrifice, especially when you can help great people make great things happen (or, in more cases, help prevent terrible things from passing!).

    We’re doing a bit from home to be involved, hoping others do the same, and hoping you have a great session!!

    • Shanon Brooks
      Jan 31, 2012

      This is a great experience. Good to hear from you.

  5. Allen Levie
    Jan 31, 2012

    Thank you for the update and the sacrifice. I wish I could be there to. We’ll try to be worthy of the freedoms you help legislate and unlegislate for us.

    I wonder what the limitations are on setting up homestead options using Utah public lands.

    What is the next step on the Utah legal tender battle front? What are our specific Federal limitations for Utah? Where are the most strategic frontiers for change?

    • Shanon Brooks
      Jan 31, 2012

      Stay tuned, much more to follow.

  6. Sil Johnson
    Jan 31, 2012

    Looking forward to hearing your take on if the actual legislative process is anywhere near what we’ve been studying it is supposed to be. Thanks for sharing this experience with us all!

    • Shanon Brooks
      Jan 31, 2012

      Yes it will be fun.

  7. Jackie Stellone
    Jan 31, 2012

    You are an inspiration to us all. Will continue to read your updates of your adventures.

  8. Shanon Brooks
    Jan 31, 2012

    Thank you for your support.

  9. Don Alt
    Jan 31, 2012

    Wow you are truly an American Patriot!Looking forward to your updates.

    • Shanon Brooks
      Feb 6, 2012

      Thanks.

  10. Marcos Uboldi
    Feb 1, 2012

    The fouding father has finally come home!! (or hell). Good luck up there. I eager to hear about your odissey. Keep us posted!

    • Shanon Brooks
      Feb 6, 2012

      Thanks, I’ll see you in class.

  11. Tina Giblin
    Feb 2, 2012

    Shanon, I have no doubt that since you are following God’s will in your life, He will supply you with what you (and your family) need. What a great testimony to step out in faith like that!

    Go, God bless you, learn a lot, and update us at FOL in March!

    • Shanon Brooks
      Feb 6, 2012

      FOL is the training ground for all of this. When is NY in session?

  12. Marion Tone
    Feb 6, 2012

    WOW! You have come along way Shannon since those meetings in my home in Cottonwood, Az. You have and continue to make a positive move in educating others towards a greater understanding of the constitution and what America is all about. You have always been a mover and a shaker. Give my love to that sweet wife of yours.

    • Shanon Brooks
      Feb 6, 2012

      Kind words will get you everywhere. Nice to hear from you. Bill and I are in communication.

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