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Youth's role touted at Lincoln Day event PDF Print E-mail
Written by Brenda Johnson Brandt   

U.S. Congressman Cory Gardner and State Senator Greg Brophy

“Does my generation have a role in America’s future?” Four Holyoke and Haxtun High School Voice of Democracy contest winners shared their speeches on this topic at the Feb. 20 Phillips County Lincoln Day luncheon in Haxtun.

With it being a non-election year, the event centered on words from elected officials, as well as thoughts from the local students’ speeches.

A fund raising silent auction added some flavor, and Republicans also enjoyed a fun straw poll for the 2012 GOP Presidential nomination.

County Republican Chair Deb Carlstrom announced the unofficial straw poll results. Top four leaders in the poll, listed in order of popularity, were former Arkansas Governor Mike Huckabee, followed by former Alaska Governor Sarah Palin, former Massachusetts Governor Mitt Romney and Representative Paul Ryan of Wisconsin.

Sarah Heermann, Catrina Krueger and Jordan Zeiler of Holyoke and Matthew Wilcox of Haxtun shared their winning speeches from the 2010 Voice of Democracy contest.

“We want to put the state on a path so when you guys take over, it’s solvent,” said Senator Greg Brophy, acknowledging the significance of the high school students’ role in America’s future.

U.S. Congressman Cory Gardner and Colorado Representative Jerry Sonnenberg also cited legislation currently in the works, as well as changes that need to occur to shape a better future.

Asked about his initial reaction to Governor John Hickenlooper’s proposed budget, Brophy said he was pleasantly surprised. “He takes our financial situation seriously,” added Brophy.

“I’m hopeful Governor Hickenlooper will bring a business-friendly reality to the State of Colorado,” said Brophy.

Colorado Representative Jerry Sonnenberg, pictured at right, visits
with Phillips County Commissioner Bud Biesemeier and his wife Bonnie.  
—Enterprise photo

In Washington, Rep. Gardner noted he offered an amendment to the federal budget continuing resolution aimed at defunding a crucial part of last year’s health-care reform law. His amendment passed the House.

Citing the President presented a budget last week that adds another $7 trillion to the nation’s debt, Gardner told Phillips County Republicans, “It’s got to stop. And we’ve got two years to make sure people understand,” he said in reference to the 2012 Presidential election year.

“We shouldn’t be talking about increasing debt limit until we stop spending and put something in place to prevent it from happening again,” added Gardner.

County elected officials who were introduced at Sunday’s Lincoln Day event included Commissioners Bud Biesemeier, Jerry Beavers and Joe Kinnie; and Treasurer Linda Statz.

Sarah Heermann’s final thoughts from her Voice of Democracy district runner-up speech on whether her generation has a role in America’s future were appropriate for Sunday’s program.

“We are the future, and as Abraham Lincoln said, ‘Whatever you are, make it a good one.’”

Voice of Democracy Contest winners speak
Pictured from left, Sarah Heermann, Catrina Krueger, Matthew Wilcox, Jordan Zeiler