MIG Weekend 2021 Launches Virtually
Opening Ceremonies 2021 Commence with Innovation and Glowing Excitement
by: Kelly Kupris
As the Opening Ceremonies link was activated and delegate boxes popped into their respective rectangles, the excitement was aglow. Even with an experienced Executive Board in the ranks, the daunting task of moving Model Illinois Government virtual for the first time ever was a fear that lingered on everyone’s minds. However, that fear didn’t stop them but instead encouraged growth and education.
Governor Isaiah Moore spoke of his admiration for the hard work accomplished by each Executive Board member. He said, “I saw passion, I saw love, I saw people cooperating,” with a sparkle in his eye viewable even through Zoom. The Governor went on to emphasize the goal of this year is education and learning. The year, he mused, was one that brought him both perspective and greatness and wanted to extend his warmest welcome to the delegates.
Speaker of the House Kallie Matthews made sure to thank her staff as well as other Executive Board staff members for the hard work they've been doing. Matthews is on her second year as the House Speaker, a role in which she fills with excitement and tenacity.
In addition to his staff, President of the Senate Dan Fogarty went on to thank his alma maters Governor State and Prairie State for getting him involved in Model Illinois Government. He mused on how although this year was “not the journey expected”, he was grateful for the experience and has learned a lot. He concluded by extending his thankfulness to the delegates and expressed, “You guys are what MIG is.”
Lieutenant Governor Preshus Maxson thanked the delegates for allowing her to serve the position two years in a row. With her baby by her side, whom she described as a 'four-week-old sidekick', she encouraged everyone to stay positive and make the most of the weekend.
Comptroller Stephon Robertson expressed how he and the rest of the E-Board wanted to emulate the best service possible for the delegates and themselves. He stated how he knew everyone would be able to pull through and was excited for the weekend ahead.
Chief Justice Elizabeth Stephens, along with her fluffy dog Ollie, mused on her previous experience in order to build a great experience for Moot Court 2021. She encouraged any delegates who have questions for her to contact her or her staff while expressing excitement for the weekend.
Attorney General Chelsea Walters thanked the voters for allowing her to become a first year E-Board member. She also thanked her staff, the tech staff, and her advisor Amber Lusvardi for encouraging her to run for the position in the first place. She expressed her desire to work hard for the delegates and make this simulation a great one.
Secretary of State Zoe White, despite her concerns of a virtual simulation, expressed how she knows this weekend will be “amazing as ever”. She expressed thanks towards delegates and encouraged them to, “Run for office, speak on as many bills as possible, and have fun.”
Treasurer Kathy Lara was unable to share her speech, but she is excited for the weekend ahead. She’s another member of the board serving multiple terms and has brought much to the organization.
Although not an official Executive Board member, Tech Director Timothy Kirsininkas spoke to the delegates as well. He talked about how this year has been a learning experience for everyone and has proved the most challenging year yet. He extended credit to first year delegates. Concluding his speech, he expressed that any delegates, staff, or whoever has a tech question to reach out to him and his tech staff.
Finally, former MIG Governor and former Senate President Zachary Sullivan shared his video giving the Keynote address for 2021. He spoke of his amazing experience throughout his multiple roles in the organization and how much he grew as a person. He encouraged delegates to participate as much as they can and understand the valuable experience they will be gaining throughout the weekend.
The Opening Ceremonies expressed excitement, encouragement, and a passion for learning. We hope you all are as excited as we are. Debate on.
Southeastern Illinois College Takes Multiple Senate Leadership Roles
by: Luisa Sanchez
In the leadership elections that took place early this afternoon in the Senate, Democrats elected the Majority Leader as Senator Aislinn Diaz (D-University of Illinois Springfield). The Assistant Majority Leader elected was highly experienced Senator Gavyn Woodlard (D-Southeastern Illinois College) who came prepared with a binder of detailed material and a willingness to communicate.
Nominations for whip positions consisted of four nominees, with each one using their allotted time to make a case for themselves. The elected whips announced were devoted Senator Nicollette Allen (D-Prairie State) and first year delegate Senator Joshua Baker (D-Southeastern Illinois College).
The position of Minority Leader went to Senator Callie Oxford (R-Southeastern Illinois College). Assistant Minority Leader was won by Senator Gillian Jones (R- Southeastern Illinois College). The minority whips that were elected were Senator Marcia Huerta (R) and Michael Fields (R-Eastern Illinois University).
Many of the elected leadership have had past experience in Model Illinois Government and are sure to make the Senate a great place to learn, thrive, and have fun this weekend.
Firery Elections Result In Big Wins For House Leadership
by: Tamas DiLorenzo
House Election meetings took place on Friday morning and ran overtime due to a recount caused by a three-way tie for the position of Assistant Majority Leader.
The candidates for Assistant Majority Leader, Aleece McLeod (D-Southeastern Illinois University), Delaney Gatine (D-Principia College), and Keegan Noll (D-Eastern Illinois University) each received five votes from their constituents, resulting in each candidate restating their qualifications and vision for the position, after which Democrats voted again for an Assistant Majority Leader.
McLeod (D-Southeastern Illinois University) was elected Assistant Majority Leader. She will be assisting Majority Leader Mackenzi Matthews (D-UoI Springfield) in the House. Matthews will be serving in this role for the second year in a row. Keegan Noll (D-Eastern Illinois University), and Christian Walls (D-Eastern Illinois University) were both chosen as Majority Whips.
Though their election went smoothly, the Minority may have a tough time this year with only one Whip, Kaleb Schutt (R-Southeastern Illinois University). Christian Murray (R-Southeastern Illinois University) will be helped by Assistant Minority Leader Jacob Cacioppo (R-University of Illinois Springfield).
We All Belong Here - Joshua Baker's Impassioned Plea For Migrant Rights
by: Kelly Kupris
Senator Joshua Baker (D-Southeastern Illinois College) moved Senate Committee One nearly to tears with his passionate bill defending the rights of migrants within Illinois (SBOL1104).
What this bill seeks to do is amend the Keep Illinois Families Together Act in order to create protections for migrants who have filed for citizenship after having hired an immigration attorney. The bill prevents law abiding undocumented migrants from being criminally apprehended (deported) during or after the services of their attorney, even if citizenship isn’t obtained. This intends to protect migrants from predatory practices such as an attorney handing over a client to be deported in exchange for benefits to the attorney. This legislation will move to consider citizenship status as protected with attorney-client privilege.
Baker’s desire for writing this bill doesn’t come just from a desire to support the migrant community, it comes from his own personal experience. Years ago, Baker’s mom was turned over to deportation officials by her very own attorney. There doesn’t need to be many words to emphasize how predatory and harmful a practice like that is. Senator Baker went on to explain witnessing his mom crying and his father left helpless as she was deported. He describes the anxiety and depression he has suffered as well as the hospital bills his family faced because of his emotional struggles. Senator Baker described how when migrants are deported, families are torn apart, financial burdens grow, and livelihood is completely disrupted.
Senate Assistant Minority Leader Gillian Jones (R-Southeastern Illinois College) praised Baker’s bravery for sharing his story and said that, “It’s hard to argue in opposition for this.” She commended the bill for its regulations before encouraging everyone to be bipartisan on this piece of legislation.
It goes out without saying that this country was founded and built by migrants. Everyone other than Native Americans are migrants to this country. Infrastructure, food, culture, and more has all been built up by migrants and for that, we owe them a safe space. Families are ingrained in American culture like the Fourth of July and freedom. Tearing apart families, locking people in cages, and dealing out superiority based on birthplace is not behavior true to what America claims to value. Law and order does not mean tormenting those seeking a better life through legal paths. No one is free until we are all free and, most certainly, no human being is illegal. This bill passed unanimously 10-0.
This article is dedicated to Blanca.