GA 2020: Highlights from KYA 1’s First General Assembly

By Lily Wobbe

Just like any other Kentucky Youth Assembly, this conference was officially kicked off with the first General Assembly of the 2020 KYA season. Here are the highlights.

  • The General Assembly started with a video from the Presiding Officers, featuring them at the Kentucky Capitol in Frankfort. The video was created and edited by Commonwealth House Speaker Marilyn Buente.
  • After introducing his fellow Presiding Officers, Governor Parker Stewart called KYA into order, then gave his opening address. He spoke on a variety of important issues in Kentucky.
  • On police brutality: “The purpose of the police is to enforce the law, correct? So why do we grant them special privileges when they break the law? It is time we start to hold our police officers accountable for their misconduct. We must ensure that the very people who vow to protect this state are not the ones terrorizing its citizens.”
  • On the coal industry: “The mining of coal kills miners, the cleaning of coal creates slurry ponds which contaminates our waterways, and the burning of coal warms our planet, emits toxins in our air, and poisons our water with heavy metals. It is time our citizens have the opportunity to work without the threat of death. It is time our citizens are not abandoned.”
  • On the COVID-19 pandemic: “Over 1,500 Kentuckians have died from COVID-19. 1,500 of our brothers, sisters, mothers, fathers, grandparents, and neighbors. If guidelines were followed more closely, if we as a state and nation had a higher value for human life, many of those people would still be with us today.”
  • At the end of his poignant opening speech, Governor Stewart encouraged all Kentuckians to fight for each other and take the initiative to create a better commonwealth.
  • After the governor’s opening address, Commonwealth House Speaker Marilyn Buente introduced the Supporting Officers.
  • Next, Chief Justice Preeti Tanwani led the swearing in of all delegates at the conference with the Kentucky oath of office.
  • After that, the presiding officer candidates were briefly introduced. They will give their speeches later this afternoon and voting opens this evening.
  • Lastly, Secretary of State Sophia Holtzman encouraged all delegates to either register to vote or pledge to register. More information can be found at inspire2vote.org.

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