On Monday, March 20, Girl Scouts from across the state traveled to the Capitol for Lunch with your Legislator where they met with local legislators and talked about issues that mattered to them, including pay equity, education reform, mental health, and other hot topic issues.
Girls began their morning discussing pay equity, where they looked at different countries around the world and their level of equal pay, and also discussed the inequalities among women when examining the gender pay gap. Girl Scouts heard from Kate Farrar, Executive Director of the Connecticut Women’s Education and Legal Fund (CWELF), who went more into depth about pay inequity and discussed ways the girls could get more involved in spreading awareness of the issue.
Girls also heard from West Hartford Representative Derek Slap also spoke to the group about a bill that he recently proposed to the House and Senate: House Bill 5210. The bill’s purpose, according to the Connecticut General Assembly website, is “to strengthen provisions of the law concerning pay equity and fairness.”
“You girls are the future,” he said. “We need you to get engaged to make our world a better place.”
Girls had the opportunity to meet with state legislators and talk with them around their tables about issues that they cared about, including equal rights, education, healthcare, and more. After the discussion, girls enjoyed lunch with their legislators. The event closed with a press conference with a message about encouraging girls to be involved in civic engagement and be active in their communities. Two Girl Scouts, Girl Scout Kennedy from Glastonbury and Girl Scout Alexis from Middletown, shared their Girl Scout experience and their take action projects.
Girl Scout Kennedy earned her Silver Award, the second highest award a Girl Scout can earn, by establishing a “Little Free Book” pantry in her town. She plans to earn her Gold Award and focus her project on mental health awareness.
“The Girl Scouts in this room truly inspire me with their passion,” she said. “We are not competitive—we work together to make our world a better place to live in.”
Girl Scout Alexis earned her Gold Award organizing a fashion show called “I am Confident” with the Middletown Unified Theater group’s children with special abilities to promote self-empowerment. Alexis and her Girl Scout Sister Elizabeth are also currently working on their service project to promote mental health awareness. The duo was passing out green ribbons to local legislators, other Girl Scouts, and parents to wear in support.
“Mental health is a very important topic in today’s society as more kids and adults are depression, have invisible illnesses, have ADHD, have autism, or are bullied resulting in PTSD or suicidal thoughts and actions. This project helps spread awareness and supports those who are suffering,” she said. “Thanks to Girl Scouts, I am a leader, a go-getter, confident in being me, not afraid to take on any challenges given to me, and I will be an adult that will better the world around me!”
The girls also heard from Lieutenant Governor Nancy Wyman, Representatives Michelle Cook, Pam Staneski, Robyn Porter, and Liz Linehan. The press conference closed with Girl Scouts pinning the local legislators who were pinned as members of the Honorary Girl Scout Troop at the Capitol.
“Every time Girl scouts come to the Capitol, I feel better,” said Lieutenant Governor Wyman. “You have all accomplished so much, you are so confident, and I look forward to seeing you continue to shine in the future.”