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My name is Zoe and I have been a part of the Planned Parenthood volunteer force for about six months now. I was so excited to come to the Idaho Statehouse and use my voice to show a youth perspective on complex issues facing our state today. I chose to talk to my legislators about Add the Words Idaho and spent four hours in training, an additional two hours on my own doing research, and then eight hours in the Statehouse spending time talking with my Planned Parenthood peers and my representatives. I knew that I was going into meetings with more conservatively-minded members of the State Legislature, but I also knew it was their job to listen to their constituents. Representative Joe Palmer didn’t make an appointment to talk with us, so we did our best to find him in the halls. We did end up seeing Rep. Palmer, but the words that were exchanged between us were few and unpleasant. We caught him while he was talking with another person, waited for him to turn to talk to us, and made our introductions. He said he was busy, adding (I paraphrase) “I won’t agree with you, so why waste your time?” I was disappointed in my Representative and wished that he had taken at least five minutes to talk to his constituents, as that is what he was elected to do. I know how the legislative process is supposed to work, and what Rep. Palmer did wasn’t a reflection of that. 

Tags: Youth, Legislative