Download The Bluebonnet; Citizens Reflect on 2011 Session

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Bluebonnets in a fieldThe 15th edition of The Bluebonnet is now available for download! Read about our elected officials, guest speakers, and more in our annual newsletter. Suitable for printing out and putting in scrapbooks. Spread the word–tell all your fellow citizens to download the ultimate Bluebonnet Girls State memento.

Enjoy some of the Reflections on the 2011 Session of Bluebonnet Girls State shared by citizens and staff.

Girls Nation, Outstanding Citizens Announced

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Two girls are selected from each Girls State program to attend Girls Nation, a national government training program. Anna Rigby of League City (ALA Unit 554) and Aanchal Saraf of The Woodlands (ALA Unit 305) will represent Texas at Girls Nation in July. First alternate is Hailey Knab of Pottsboro (ALA Unit 231), and second alternate is Keni Sabath of Missouri City (ALA Unit 77). Girls Nation “senators” meet for a week in Washington, D.C., where they run for office, enact legislation and meet with Representatives and Senators.

 

Twelve citizens were chosen “Outstanding Citizens of 2011” by their peers. They are Kaitlin Phillips (City A), Carson Alsop (City B), Pronoma Debnath (City C), Stephanie Bossert (City D), Christina Faseler (City E), Anna Rigby (City F), Aanchal Saraf (City G), Tara McCullough (City H), Heather Cox (City I), Hailey Stevenson (City J), Lexi Edwards (City K), and Irene Cofie (City L).

Capitol Day

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We traveled to Austin today to visit the Capitol.  Citizens debated bills on the floor of the House of Representatives and Senate.  House bills included such topics as  concealed weapons, the nutrition of school lunches, and censorship in public school libraries, while Senators debated bills relating to teacher salaries, graduation requirements, and animal safety, among others.  Michael Keasler, Judge, Court of Criminal Appeals, swore in the state officials in a special ceremony.  We ate lunch on the Capitol grounds before returning to TLU.

Tonight we will announce our silent auction and lottery winners, and many citizens will participate in a talent show.  Our last night is bittersweet because we are anxious to get home to our friends and families, but we hate to leave our new friends from all over Texas.

State Officials Elected

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On Thursday, June 16th, National Party candidate Keni Sabath was elected 2011 Bluebonnet Girls State Governor. Tia Watson was elected Lieutenant Governor.  Other winners were Irene Cofie, Attorney General; Stephanie Bossert, Comptroller of Public Accounts; Hailey Stevenson, Commissioner of General Land; Fallon Boenig, Agricultural Commissioner; Aanchal Saraf, Railroad Commissioner; Anna Rigby, Presiding Judge of Court of Criminal Appeals; Casey Jo Knapp, Chief Justice of Supreme Court. Citizens also approved a constitutional amendment that establishes annual legislative sessions.

These officials will be sworn in at an inauguration ceremony at the State Capitol in Austin Friday, where they will also participate in a legislative session.

Primary Elections

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Yesterday was PARTY DAY, and Girls State was a sea of red and blue as citizens sported their party’s color. Last night all the citizens and staff stood inside an outline of the shape of Texas, and our photographers, Robert Anschutz and Terry Duff, took a picture!  Citizens can purchase this “Big Texas” picture for only $16. Now that the parties have established their platforms, the Nationalists and Federalists will choose their candidates for county and state offices. Citizens will hear lots of candidates’ speeches today, and the state primary results will be announced tonight, following some displays of citizen talent. Tomorrow is the general election, so the Nat and Fed candidates will vie for each county and state office.

State Party Officers Chosen

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Because the Girls State program is entirely non-partisan, citizens operate with mock political parties. They elect precinct, county and state party officials and write their own party platform. The National and Federal parties convened June 14, 2011 to pick their state party officials. State Federal Party officials are Chair Miriam Felder, Vice-Chair Tara McCullough, House Whip Montana Blair, Senate Whip Paloma Rivera. State National Party Officials are Chair Kallie Fuchs, Vice-Chair Jenna Dunn, House Whip Vinamrata Singel, Senate Whip Sarah Gates. For a complete list of party officials, including county and precinct chairwomen, please download the 2011 edition of The Bluebonnet, the official newsletter of the Bluebonnet Girls State program.