Craig Wagner Addresses Youth in Government

By: Yessica Ramos

Craig Wagner is an attorney from Denver, Colorado and 50 years ago, he sat at a desk in his home state of Iowa. He was participating in a Youth in Government program at the time and was an elective speaker of the house. When presenting his ideas, he made sure to clarify that anything that he stated that was political was all opinion based and not reliant on facts.

To begin his speech, he stated how some of the aspects of Youth in Government in his day compared to now, are similar, but also how there are many differences. One being the number of roles, in the model legislation. During his conference, Wagner addressed in his speech how, “none of your roles are a republican representative or a democratic representative, you are experiencing democracy in a wonderful kind of nonpartisan way, a way that unfortunately our current government doesn’t work very well with.” Meaning that everyone in the legislation is working together rather than government parties getting in the way of the main agenda.

“None of your roles are a republican representative or a democratic representative, you are experiencing democracy in a wonderful kind of nonpartisan way, a way that unfortunately our current government doesn’t work very well with.”

One of the main focuses in his speech was how important the media/press is as he stated, “it is such an important role today”.  Wagner covered why free press is so important in our current society. Furthermore, how ongoing administration attacks the press as an “enemy” of the people, and when they describe news as “negative” it is considered “fake news” as he states, “that is not the way this country is supposed to work, it’s not the way democracy is supposed to work.” He stressed and hoped that the youth could understand that and participate in the important issues that we have today, some being gun control and trying to come up with a better approach for our immigration problems.

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Photo By: Mary Goodwin

You could do anything you want for your occupation and still get involved in public service. Still attempt to make a difference. Wagner stated something that he learned 15 years ago which still applies to today, being the three C’s. “Professional courtesy, collaboration, and compromise.” Applying these things, as he states is “how things get done, and that’s how you feel good about the things that you are proposing.”  In conclusion, Craig Wagner gave the youth of today an insight into how bipartisan relationships as well as the media can work together to further our country’s political agenda.

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