Lawmaker questions

Sedalia Mahlum, Bismarck

The elected officials of North Dakota are entrusted with acting in my best interests, and those of all students. This past legislative session has shown that they are not always capable of that. Being 14 does not make my opinion any less valid than an elector’s. I cannot vote to voice my opinions, but I refuse to be silent anymore. I cannot understand why the voters of our state continue to elect officials who do not represent what North Dakota stands for.

When will legislators put as much energy into supporting the child after it’s born as they put into making sure the child is born? When will legislators put as much effort into supporting the west as they put into ensuring that oil companies have tax breaks? When will the voice of individuals be as important as those of special interests? Our Legislature has become so hugely unbalanced that it’s hard to imagine what would happen if Democrats and Republicans had equal say in the way our great state is run. North Dakotan teens are blessed to have enthusiastic, young, up-and-coming legislators to look up to. What North Dakota needs is more officials willing to cross party lines and listen.

Our state is a beautiful place, and I’m proud to be from here. However, I cannot say that I am very proud of the harsh and partisan fashion in which the 63rd Legislative Assembly conducted its business. Politicians that would rather hide behind party lines than fix the complex problems that our state faces do not represent the spirit of North Dakota, and they do not represent me or my peers. When will the electorate decide it’s time to elect officials that will work to create a better future for my generation?