Baby Steps – Legislative post by UEA Advanced Policy Ambassador Hillary Emmer

Legislative report submitted by UEA Advanced Policy Ambassador Hillary Emmer, school counselor at Copper Mountain Middle School in the Jordan School District

One of my favorite movies to watch is a movie called What About Bob?, starring Bill Murray and Richard Dreyfuss. It’s a fun comedy if you need something light-hearted to watch! Bob is working with his therapist on taking metaphoric baby steps in his life. I had the joy of re-watching this movie the other day and couldn’t help but think how much this idea relates to the legislative side of education.

Many times we forget that as employees in the school system, many legislative decisions can actually have a very direct impact on us in our day-to-day jobs. With that said, we are all at different levels of how much of this we want to take on as well. This article is for those who are at a point where they are a little curious and want to understand about the government side to working at a school.

Understanding legislative decisions and the process behind them can feel overwhelming at first, but you can navigate this process in smaller pieces. UEA is also here to support and help you.

Here are some possible first steps:

  1. Explore the UEA Under the Dome webpage. This is a great snapshot of what’s currently happening and can help give you a target of items you may want to focus on and learn about.
  2. Look up who your representatives are! Would you recognize them if you saw them on the news or walking down the street? Bonus points if you send an email and introduce yourself! 😊 Find Your Legislators
  3. Look at the legislative bills that have been proposed this year and see what titles jump out at you. Click on them and spend a little time unpacking what they are trying to say. Write your questions down and email your representative with your questions! Guess what!? They might have the same ones! View the 2022 UEA Legislative Tracking Sheet / View all 2022 bills
  4. Learn about the legislative process. A really great way to do this is to attend a UEA Educator Day on the Hill. You will get some training and education, in a low-pressure setting and will be supported by your UEA leadership too! Check the dates and get more information.

Take baby steps!