Fed up with the partisan gridlock in our legislative process? Discouraged because civility and compromise seem to belong to the past? Here’s your chance to show the world how it ought to be done. You can be a legislator for a day!
Lutheran Engagement and Advocacy in Nevada (LEAN) is pleased to invite you to participate in an exciting learning experience called uLegislate. The odd name is an echo of such things as YouTube, and expresses beautifully what it is—a role play for private citizens to experience what it’s like to be a state Senator. LEAN thinks it will be a great way for parishioners to understand what happens during the legislative process. We hope it will also show how Lutheran advocacy works within the legislative process to protect the least among us.
The event will be Tuesday, August 7, 2018, beginning at 10 a.m. It lasts about one hour and takes place in the Nevada Senate chambers at the state capitol in Carson City. Each participant is given a role to play, and a script. Two bills have been chosen for debate. These are actual bills that went through the 2017 Session, however the role play calls for us to treat them as new proposals, just introduced. There will be procedural votes, floor debate, and all the activities the average person never hears about. It’s a wonderful way to learn that both sides of an issue have valid concerns, that reasonable people can compromise, and that clear analysis and articulate discussion are real assets. There are a limited number of roles, but there is no limit to the number of people who can come to the session and observe from the gallery. Wannabe legislators should jump right in to ensure getting a speaking part. The deadline to sign up either as a participant or an observer is Saturday, July 7. There is no charge to participate or observe, and St. Paul’s Lutheran Family in Carson City will host the group for lunch afterward. There is no charge for the luncheon, and there’s plenty of free parking on the street and in public lots near the capitol.
The site lists the bills that are available for the simulation, and LEAN has chosen SB 194 and SB 322. The first deals with products from endangered species, and the second calls for a civics test to graduate high school. You can click on those bills, and be taken to the text of the bill itself. By the way, there are ELCA Social Statements that relate to each of these bills. “Care for Creation” talks about endangered species, and “Church in Society” calls for Christians to be informed, active citizens.
LEAN hopes that some folks who come to this event will become active with us, as LEAN contacts in their congregations, as board members, or to lead a particular program or event. As you know, Lutheran Engagement and Advocacy in Nevada bases all its policy positions in the ELCA Social Statements.