Things are slowing down a bit, as we are now right in the start of the Holiday Season. I hope that everyone had a great Thanksgiving and that you are all looking forward to a warm Holiday Season with family. An essential part of my position is visiting with various groups, schools, and attending community events throughout the 104th district. It is imperative to stay in close contact with my constituents. This said, as our holiday calendars fill, we look to close out the end of the year. Office work is the order of the day. I look to complete miscellaneous tasks and prepare for small Christmas celebrations with staff, as each person has worked incredibly hard, allowing the office to function efficiently all year long. This December is a time to reflect on the soon-to-be past year and prepare for the year ahead. The new session starting in January should be both exciting and full of hopeful anticipation as we kickoff year 2020.
The absolute best stop of the week was at Danville High School on Tuesday. I was able to speak to four different sections of Ms. Sadler’s government class. Some of my most intense question and answer sessions are with young people and they never fail to thoroughly impress me.
On Tuesday, a large portion of the day was dedicated to speaking to the four classes, a conversation that was certainly intense, but also filled with very good participation and perspectives from everyone. I make it a point to receive tough and honest questions from students because I always get great input on issues. These students face many challenges while growing up and working to get a good education. They provide informative perspectives on every issue we discuss. Good legislators talk to people who are impacted by our decisions before and after we make them, but the best legislators reach for the tough input on those issues.
Education is frequently a topic of hard conversation in Springfield and one that greatly impacts the young people the most. This issue brings everyone to the table from board members, school administrators, parents, and students. It is fundamentally important to me to make sure I gain all of the stakeholder’s perspectives. That is why I enjoy my time talking with students, because I learn something every time I have the opportunity to talk with them. I always leave those meetings very proud of our great schools and optimistic about the future of our education system.
I attended a number of other events this last week too, of which is one of the best events of the year, the Vermilion County Farm Bureau Annual Meeting. I always enjoy attending a Farm Bureau event. The Farm Bureau has been defending agriculture for over a century and doing a great job at it. It is wonderful to visit with fellow farmers and the Ag Leaders in Vermilion County that are continually fighting for agriculture policy.
On Thursday, I was also very happy to attend the Building Trades Christmas party. It was a great opportunity to relax and visit with some exceptional, hard working people that I have come to know and respect over the years, first in my role as County Board Chairman and now as the State Representative in the 104th. We see each other frequently throughout the year at different events like our Labor Management Council meetings where we discuss the issues of the day. We also visit during events like the Christmas lunch, where I learn about their work through a different setting and gain new respect for people who are out working hard each day. Thank you to the Building Trades for inviting me to a great lunch. It was another fun and productive week in the 104th. Enjoy the Holiday Season and enjoy your family.