Tomorrow-Today, the Alabama YMCA Youth Legislature’s newspaper, interviewed Tyler Zitzewitz, the 2017 Minnesota youth governor who is attending Alabama’s program this weekend with five other Minnesota youth legislators.
By Emma Strickland
Tomorrow-Today Staff Writer
How does this conference compare with the one in Minnesota?
It’s very different. This one is smaller. In Minnesota, there are 1,400 delegates. There are many different houses and senates, and there is a full judicial system. One of the things I think is really cool here is you have some aspects that we don’t have. One of the things we tried to bring back with us last year is you guys have this challenging of the constitutionality of bills, which I think is a really cool way to take out the bills that can’t necessarily be in legislation. That’s something that we don’t have in Minnesota, so we took that back last year and are thinking of implementing it. We talk a lot different. The ideology down here is completely different. It’s all YMCA, and it’s all the same values.
How do the political views differ?
In Minnesota, we definitely have some conservatives. I would say it’s about 80 percent liberal and 20 percent conservative. We come here and most of us are liberal. It’s really fun for us to come here because we don’t feel challenged in our ideology back home, so when we do debates it’s mostly liberal, and they pass easily. It really helps polish our debate skills because we are constantly arguing against the opposing side.
What made you decide to come to this conference?
The goal of these is trips is to better our own conference in learning from the way y’all do things. We learn from you guys and bring it back to Minnesota to improve our conference. We also build relationships with the people here.
Is there anything you would suggest bringing from Minnesota to this conference?
One thing we do when it comes to elections is we have a town hall debate. Because we have such a large program, the entire state doesn’t vote for all of the officers except for governor, lieutenant governor and secretary of state. Everyone running gets on the stage and essentially has a debate. There is a question, and everyone has to answer it. I think that’s something that would be good to add to the conference in Alabama. It helps you compare and contrast all of the candidates with the way they see youth in government and different issues. It really helps the voter make a better decision.