You know, I have to admit, the last thing that was on my mind when I was calling the Cunningham residence last week to learn more about who wrote the chicken bylaw was that a 12-year-old would be picking up the phone to talk to me about it.
It literally stumped me on the phone when I called and her grandmother Nelly answered first, explaining Hana couldn’t come to the phone because she was at school.
“At school?” I thought. “Wow. Okay, she must be about to graduate or something and be very keen on politics.”
Nelly would tell me her granddaughter was in fact 12-years-old and in fact the person who wrote the bylaw proposal, as well as researched all the facts behind it to present to council.
I feel bad about this, because I still didn’t believe it. . Young people bring new ideas and new exciting things into our lives every day. But someone who isn’t even technically in their teens was actually doing this? I was honestly amazed.
I think back on when I was 12-years-old. I would run around my complex, generally playing some kind of version of tag with my friends and cousins, playing video games, watching movies, and putting off homework for as long as humanly possible before I started to freak out.
I know the last thing on my mind was to start writing into my municipal government and try and change some rules. In fact, I can’t even say it was the last thing on my mind, it just plainly wasn’t in there at all.
Politics wouldn’t kick in for Sam for quite a few more years.
Which I guess is why I’m so taken aback by this whole thing. I relate it to my experience as a kid and it just blows my mind.
Now, Hana is obviously a very motivated and intelligent person to get this going, and if she was telling me the truth (which I believe she is) she wrote this bylaw out when she was 11.
But maybe it just goes to show how accessible the government is here. Maybe it just goes to show how close Nakusp really feels with its elected council. Or maybe it just goes to show there’s always one person out there who will do what it takes to get things changed. Maybe not to all of the above.
I don’t know which it is. And I can never really say. I’ve only been a part of this community for 10 months, but it does really seem like, as everybody puts it, a giant family.
I’m going to be keeping an eye on how this chicken bylaw develops.
If a 12-year-old manages to get this kind of change, no matter how minute it may seem, I personally find it very intriguing.
If you don’t know what I’m referencing, just take a look at the front of the paper near the bottom. That’s the story that was written up about it.
For everyone else, get online and answer the question of the week. Because I think it’s going to be very interesting results.
Stay beautiful, Nakusp.