The MIG Journal: Friday Morning Edition
The Model Illinois Government Experience: Delegates Prepare for the Weekend
By Kelly Kupris, Deputy Attorney General/House Correspondent
On the night of opening ceremonies, there is a sea of faces familiar and faces new. With the seventeen delegations this year, Illinois Central College being the newest member in their first year, we make up a total of 250 students.
One of the returning faces is, in fact, not a student, but a faculty advisor for Elgin Community College Antonio Ramirez. Ramirez was the first advisor for Attorney General Tim Kirsininkas, as well as three other staff members. In addition to sharing his pride of seeing his former students doing so well, Ramirez offered his feelings about the MIG simulation. He stated that MIG is not only a place to “practice public speaking” and “develop confidence”, but to “feel like you have an effect on people,”. Thus, having an effect on people is what Ramirez calls a, “real human desire”.
Sometimes having an effect on people may mean doing things outside your comfort zone and facing fears. The idea of facing your fears was one that was consistently reiterated throughout the executive board. Governor Roehrs, Lieutenant Governor LeBlanc, and General Kirsininkas all suggested to do what might scare you, meet new people, and run for executive board positions. Senate President Chloe Compton brought these encouragements full circle when she mentioned how her first year at the MIG simulation, she was at the opening ceremonies and wished she could be the Senate President, and now she is.
The message is this, fellow delegates: do the things that scare you. This weekend make sure to take part and speak on bills, communicate, meet people, have fun, and above all, let this year of Model Illinois Government grow you.
The Role of a Journalist at MIG and Beyond
By Kim Wolf, Solicitor General/Senate Correspondent
There are a few key traits that a successful journalist should embody throughout their career. As the journalists of this simulation, there are a few promises that will be made.
As part of the journalist oath, the theme of remaining transparent comes up frequently. Essentially being on the front-line of all the action and having the ability to receive information that is relevant to the entire state of Illinois is enough to say that the words should be truthful and honest, while also ensuring to keep legislators held accountable.
The journalists at MIG also promise that accusations will not be thrown around. The concept of language and how powerful choices of words can be should be taken into consideration during interviews and while regurgitating the data. It is important to note that every one of the delegates has a strong voice and it deserves to be heard uncensored and accurately. MIG is a time for making mistakes, learning from mistakes, and having the courage to persevere.
With that, the journalists will make sure to identify the topics that convey the most passion and will then follow up accordingly. Delegates, it is strongly encouraged to speak your truth and speak it loudly. The journalists are here to guide those passionate words into something that accessible to others.
Werner, Weiss to Lead House Dems
By Kelly Kupris
The House Democrats showed exuberance when running for party leadership positions. Layla Warner won the position for Majority Leader, promising communication with leadership, using her binder with all the bills as a resource, and securing speaking time for all. Caleb Weiss took the Assistant Majority Leader position campaigning with a promise of curating information, creating clear messages, and working together to keep talking precise and time shared equally. Steven Sawicki, Christian Lane, and Preshus Maxsun all took the position of whip promising to work with leaders, garner speaking time, and making people comfortable enough to debate. The party leaders are a promising bunch and will no doubt run a great house floor.
Schaefer, D'amico Take Control for House Republicans
By John Rayburn
The party caucuses had some very extraordinary candidates running for Minority Leader, Assistant Minority Leader, and the Whip positions during the opening Republican House caucuses. There were some candidates who had the strength, courage and wisdom to speak in front of the rest of the House. Rep. Leah Schaefer, who won the position of Minority Leader, highlighted some key points regarding the passing of the bills and how she's going to do whatever it takes to win. She states, “I'm going to bring fire and passion to the caucuses”. Someone with that type of charisma and commitment, deserves the position of Minority Leader. There were a large amount of candidates, of about 10-12 people, who covered a lot of good information regarding legislation when it came to Whip. Jacob Elton stated, “ I want to make sure that we can pass YOUR legislation”. That’s someone who’s for and by the people. Due to his excellent leadership skills, he won the Whip position, along with Kallie Matthews and Dean Colarossi. Lastly, the Assistant Minority Leader was given to Connor D’Amico who was very passionate for the House of Reps and was very committed to winning. Overall, it was a tough but excellent election.
Senate Democrats Election Results
Majority Leader: Dan Fogarty (Prairie State College)
Assistant Majority Leader: Megan Owens (Millikin University)
Whip: Fatima Siddiqua (Northeastern Illinois University) and Bryce Thomas (University of Illinois Springfield)
House Dems Select Leadership
By Jenessa Peinado
Today in the House speeches were made, ballots were cast and leaders were chosen. Kicking off the first night of party caucuses Speaker of the House Mackenzi Matthews from Lincoln Land Community College asked for the first nominations for the Democratic Majority Leader.
With three nominations and prompt voting the democrats have appointed Layla Warren of Northern University as their House Majority Leader. Representative Werner (D-NIU) has said that she is “ready to coach.” Her promise is for constant communication and coordination amongst House Democrats.
Newly voted assistant Majority Leader Caleb Weiss has already seemed to have made an impression with his fellow constituents with both his degrees, and humor. As a professional research analyst he has won over his necessary votes to help lead.
The night's Democratic caucus ended with the plethora of whip nominations. With a total of eleven nominations the narrowing down to three became that much more difficult. Even with the large number the party quickly voted. In the end it came down to Precious Maxon, Steven Sawicki, and Christian Lang. With promises of quick communication, ready to make desires reality and being by the people and for the people the House found its new Whips.
With all the newly appointed leadership roles we will see tomorrow if promises are kept and if the majorities votes were cast in the right places.
Senate Republicans Select Party Leadership
With only nineteen members of the Republican Senate, there was nothing but good conversation and camaraderie throughout. Senator Will Truman (LLCC) advocated for his place as Minority leader that resulted in a face-off with Senator Sean Dillard (Southeastern). Both candidates expressed extreme passion not only for the Republican values that will be upheld throughout the simulation, but also advanced knowledge of parliamentary procedure that will help the first-year delegates through the weekend. Senator Truman excelled with another speech that granted him the seat by only one vote. This was not the end for Dillard, however. He expressed more compelling words as he wished to be elected to assistant minority leader and, after another face-off with Senator Alec Moehn (Benedictine), he received the spot he long desired. Senator Sean Dillard expressed after the elections that he will always “give one-hundred and ten percent” in anything he does, and that statement rang true tonight. The elections for the minority whip positions were then granted - after another face-off between Adam Wallace (John A. Logan) and Peyton Hornberger (Illinois Central) - to Senator Wallace who promised that with his real-life experience he will ensure speaking time to others on issues that are compelling to them. The three senators then appointed Senator Corey Allen (Illinois Central) to be the second minority whip before the entire caucus broke out into their respective committees.