Visit to the Oregon State Capitol

Hello everyone,

Just a few weeks ago I went to the State Capitol of Oregon. My most awaited day and I was thrilled!!

My family and I had been driving for the last 40 mins to get to the Capitol and finally it came into sight. Such a beautiful grand building.Taneesh at the capitol with the gold pioneer statue in the background

After we parked, we went inside and waited for Nikki. Everything around me looked so cool, historical, and grand. When Nikki came, we all greeted each other and were ready to go. Soon after, Leslie, our tour guide, was so kind to give us a tour around the Capitol and explain a lot of things to us.

Gold Oregon state seal emblem in the middle of the Rotunda floor at the capitol.We first started with the Oregon Emblem in the middle of the Rotunda. Leslie told us that the 33 stars around the emblem represented that Oregon was the 33rd state of the United States. The Eagle on the top of the emblem is the country’s national bird. In its left claw it had an olive branch representing peace. In its right claw it had 3 arrows representing that it takes strength to make peace.

In the middle of the emblem there was a wagon with oxen pulling it. She told us it represented the Oregon Trail, a 2,000-mile-long route from Independence, Missouri to the Willamette Valley. I had learned about the Oregon trail at school in 4th Grade and seeing it as part of the emblem was very special to me. I enjoyed Oregon Trail so much that we also got the Oregon Trail Board game. If you have not played that yet, please check it out.

The emblem also had a piece of wheat and a pickaxe representing the natural resources and the hard work. Lastly the emblem had the date when Oregon became a state. It was February 14, 1859. It was on Valentine’s Day! How cool is that!!

After the emblem we went to look at the pictures on the wall in the rotunda. They represented important dates in Oregon’s history.

One of them was about the Oregon Trail and how it was one of the largest migratory processions by choice. The Oregon Trail was very brutal, and it took its toll on many, but many made it through as well. Another was about the fur trade which was very important back in the time.

After the rotunda we went to the Oregon Senate. The senate had a big picture in the middle. Leslie said that it represented the time when the news reached Oregonians that Oregon was now a US State. That date was March 17th, 1859. That’s St. Patrick’s Day! I wondered that it took a little over a month for the news to travel to Oregon, which is unimaginable to us as we live at this age of the internet.Taneesh stands on the Oregon Senate floor with a mural in the background.

I learned that anybody could see what senators are voting with big screens on the sides of the Senate. I liked how the process is so transparent. It is not private like voting for the president. Anyone can watch the voting happen either by actually going to the Capitol and watching or by tuning in virtually these days.

After that we went to the House of Representatives. It also had a big picture in the middle. This represented when all the people on the Oregon Trail voted for what type of government Oregon should have, an American style government or a British style Government. Somehow it was a tie 51 – 51. When they voted again one Spanish trader changed sides to the American Style Government and the score was 52 – 50. The House of Representatives was very similar to the Senate. The feel when I was in the Senate and the House of Representatives is unexplainable. I felt grateful to be in this great country of the United States of America.

Leslie got permission and then let me go onto the podium. It was so cool! The view and the feel from up there is like none other.

Taneesh at the podium in the Oregon House of Representatives.

After visiting the House of Representatives, the tour was over. We went back to the rotunda. Then Nikki took us to the Governor’s Office.

Taneesh stands in front of a set of doors with the word "Governor" carved overhead.As I stood at the door that says “Governor”, I couldn’t help but wonder how it would feel to really be the Governor of the State . A lady at the Governor’s office showed us around the office.

 

 

 

 

 

She also told us about an Oregon flag that had been sent to the moon. Every USA state had one flag sent to the moon and then given back along with some moon rocks. Oregon was one of the only states who still knew where their flag was. So proud to be an Oregonian.State of Oregon flag with plaque reading: This flag of your state was carried to the Moon and back by Apollo 11, and this fragment of the Moon's surface was brought to Earth by the crew of that first manned lunar landing.

The highlight was when I was given the opportunity to sit on the Governor’s chair and received a pen with the Governor’s signature on it! That is now one of my most prized possession.Taneesh sits at the Governor's ceremonial desk. He has a pen in his hand.

After that we got to see the Conference room that the Governor has her meetings in and I remembered seeing her on TV and it was so cool to see in person where all of that happens.

Soon we went to the Secretary of State’s office. She had a White House made of Legos in her room and I loved how detailed it was! Her chair also had a Wonder Woman cape on it which was so cool. Secretary Fagan’s office had lots of games for children. One thing that really took my attention was a quote on the shelf which said “Be the Nice Kid.” It’s so true that in our daily activities, we want to be the cool one or the smart one or the popular one….but I think being the Kind One is the most important and everything else can come after that.Sign reads: Some kids are smarter than you, some kids have cooler clothes than you, some kids are better at sports than you. It doesn't matter. You have your thing too. Be the kid who can get along. Be the kid who is generous. Be the kid who is happy for other people. Be the kid who does the right thing. Be the nice kid.

After the Secretary of State’s office, it was time to go. We took a few more pictures and then left the building.

Taneesh stands and holds a sign of the Kid Governor logo.Taneesh and Nikki at the Oregon Capitol

Thank You Nikki for organizing this for me.

While we were going back home, I thought about everything we did there. It was a once in lifetime experience (and my mom took too many photos. as always 😊 ) I hope that I can visit the Capital again soon.

~Taneesh

 

 

Rosh Hashanah

Hello Everyone,

A very happy Shanah Tovah to everyone.

During the Israeli Culture Club Be You Meetup one of the holidays we covered was Rosh Hashanah. The link to that Blog is here http://or.kidgovernor.org/club-be-you-israeli-culture

Shanah Tovah or Happy New Year in Hebrew.

Rosh Hashanah is the two-day celebration for the Jewish New Year. It represents Adam and Eve, the beginning of humankind.

Rosh Hashanah is celebrated by eating apples and honey, and sounding an instrument made of the ram’s horn called Shofar. During Rosh Hashanah, candles are also lighted each evening.

Fun facts about Rosh Hashanah

  • It’s traditional to eat a fruit you haven’t eaten for a long time on the second night of Rosh Hashanah.
  • The Shofar is blown exactly 100 times per day.
  • It is customary to eat the head of a fish on Rosh Hashanah
  • Many people eat pomegranate on Rosh Hashanah and then count the seeds.

I hope you will also wish Shanah Tovah to a friend who celebrates Rosh Hashanah!! I am sure it will make them feel happy.

~ Taneesh

 

Meeting with Honorable Secretary of State & Deputy Secretary of State

Hello everyone,

A couple of weeks ago I was given the opportunity to meet our Honorable Secretary of State Shemia Fagan and Deputy Secretary Cheryl. I have had a chance in the past as well to meet both of them and I have always been inspired. I was really looking forward to this meeting.

As the meeting started, I took a few deep breaths and was ready to go. A few seconds later, Nikki spoke about the agenda of the meeting then turned it over to me.

Secretary Fagan and Deputy Secretary Cheryl do know a lot about my platform and have always encouraged and supported me. I quickly gave an update about my platform, my plan and what I’ve been doing till date. We also talked about some fun things and shared some good laughs. So grateful to have this opportunity to meet, learn and feel inspired.

Screen shot of Taneesh, Secretary and Deputy on a remote meeting platform. The Deputy is laughing.

Soon it was question time if I had any and I wanted to ask these. “What is the role of the Secretary of State’s office” , “What was your most Proudest accomplishment?” And “What was the most difficult decision you’ve had to make?”

I am so thankful that they took out time from their very busy schedule and patiently answered and explained so much to me. A few things I have learned and wanted to share with you all.

  • The Secretary of State’s Office’s main job is to build the trust between the Government and Citizens.
  • The Secretary of State’s office passionately advocated for a Director of Diversity and Equity who is making systems and programs to embed equity in our state. She is working with the Secretary of State’s Office to promote equity and inclusion in all branches of the government.
  • Another thing I learned is that the Secretary of State’s office advocated for a bill, otherwise known as a law, to make it so the voters’ pamphlet would come in 5 different languages other than English. I think this is so important so that the pamphlet can reach and be understood by so many more people. This helps more people to exercise their right to vote.

Picture time is always a happy time. I smiled my brightest smile. After the picture I thought to myself “Maybe I went a little overboard with the smiling.” 😛

Screen shot of Taneesh, Secretary and Deputy on a remote meeting platform. All are smiling.

The meeting came to an end and I think meeting with Secretary Fagan and Deputy Secretary Cheryl was one of the best experiences of my life and I will never forget it.

Also, I would like to take the time here to express my heartfelt thanks for everything Nikki does for me and the Kid Governor Program 🙂
~Taneesh

 

Meeting with our honorable Attorney General of Oregon

Hello everyone,

A couple of weeks ago I met with Attorney General Ellen Rosenblum. Can you believe it? I am so grateful that she was able to take some out from her busy schedule.

I had been waiting very excitedly for the last 3 days for this meeting and finally it was so close. Soon the time came to join. I didn’t think that my excitement could wait any longer. When I joined, Nikki told me that Attorney General Ellen would join soon.

When The Attorney General joined I took a deep breath and got ready to speak. Nikki then told us about the agenda of the meeting and then turned it over to me.

I talked about my platform, my 3 point plan and what I’ve been doing till date and some things that I am working on during this summer. When I was talking about everything that has been going on, I realized that it was almost 6 months since inauguration. The thought brought a smile to my face.

It was time to ask any questions I had. I had some questions in mind that I was so wanting to learn about such as “ What is the role of the Attorney General,” “What was your most proudest accomplishment in the past legislative session,” “ What was the most challenging part as Attorney General.”

The Attorney General was so kind to talk in detail about each of my queries . Some interesting facts I learned that I would like to share with you :

The Attorney General is like a lawyer who provides legal advice to the State.
Oregon Department of Justice is led by the Attorney general and is the largest law firm in the State. The 300 lawyers in the Department of Justice represent every agency of the Government.
Another important part of the attorney General’s job is to be “People’s attorney” and by that it means that she looks out for the people of the state who is the most vulnerable.
Consumer protection is also a big part of the Attorney General’s job, looking out for people who are most vulnerable to be scammed. It could be kids, seniors, immigrants or just about anyone.

I also learned that the Oregon Department of Justice has taken up a multi-year long project and created a task force for addressing Hate crimes and Bias incidents in the State. A hotline has been started and that means that anyone who feels targeted because of their race, religion etc, can call / email and they will be responded to and will receive services to address the issue and get them the help needed. This project was advocated by The Attorney General herself for the Civil Rights division.

We moved on to talk about The Attorney General’s favorite accomplishment. I was surprised to learn that the average amount that Oregonians owe when they finish college is around Thirty thousand dollars which has to be paid back. In the past legislative session, The Attorney General’s office was able to build a Student loan service program to provide licensed servicers to students/former students to help figure out how to pay back the debt effectively. This will definitely help so many students to start their professional life at a great note.

Attorney General Ellen Rosenblum and Taneesh

We had some sweet surprise visitors as well. I was given the wonderful opportunity to meet Attorney General Ellen’s grandchildren. Charlotte and Benjamin. We talked a bit about how the Oregon Kid Governor elections work.

After that Nikki helped click some pictures. I couldn’t believe I was going to have a picture with the Attorney General!

Soon it was time to leave and we said goodbyes and ended the meeting. Looking back I feel blessed to have had this opportunity to meet the Attorney General of Oregon . I hope I can meet her again in person sometime..

~ Taneesh

July 4th

Hello Everyone,

July 4th is the American Independence day. It is an awesome holiday celebrated by Americans all around the world. This year, I wanted to reach out to my friends and ask them what they usually do on July 4th. The answers I got were varied but one thing was common – parade and fireworks. Every year, I have also enjoyed parades and grand fireworks in and around Portland and it is always such a fun day.

July 4th is celebrated for the signing of the Declaration of Independence which gave the original 13 colonies freedom. Our great country is among the freest nations on earth and we are free to express ourselves, live and love freely without fear.

Many people celebrate July 4th with fireworks (especially Red, White, And Blue colors), watching sports, participating in parades, concerts, street parties, and sometimes just waving the American Flag and Singing the National anthem of America.

Some ways you can celebrate July 4th are to wear a patriotic T-Shirt or attend a fireworks show. A lot of my friends even have a picnic or barbecue. You could also raise the flag of the United States Of America.

Yellowstone GeyserGrand TetonThis year, one way me and my family celebrated July 4th was by visiting a historic landmark. We visited the Old Faithful Geyser in Yellowstone National Park.

We also visited the Grand Teton State Park. True to its name, it was really grand. I feel fortunate to live in this beautiful country that also values traits like compassion, empathy and acceptance.

Fun facts about July 4th

  • Americans eat about 150 million hot dogs over the July 4th weekend
  • About 1 billion dollars are spent for fireworks each year for July 4th
  • The Liberty Bell (Philadelphia, Pennsylvania) used to ring 13 times on July 4th to honor the 13 colonies.
  • Calvin Coolidge was the only American president to be born on July 4th
  • July 4th is celebrated in the United Kingdom as well.

What did you do for July 4th? Email or.kidgovernor@gmail.com we would love to hear what you think. See you next time

~Taneesh

Kid Governor Leadership Summit

Hello everyone, in June, I had a leadership summit with the other Kid Governors, their cabinet members and my cabinet members. I was so excited about the meeting and it was everything I thought it to be and more.

It was 10:55 AM and I was getting ready to log on to the leadership summit. I was pretty nervous but excited to meet everybody.

Soon it was time. I logged on and saw the other Kid Governors and some of the coordinators of this wonderful Kid Governor program. Soon Brian Cofrancesco introduced himself as the head of the Kid Governor program.

In the first session, Rese (Connecticut Kid Governor), Charlie (New Hampshire Kid Governor), and I were only meeting. Brian gave us “would you rather” polls, to get to know each other better. Some of the questions were really funny like “Would you rather have moose antlers or cow horns.” Brian asked us why we chose what we chose. It was a very entertaining and fun game. This game was a good ice breaker and put us all at ease.

Kid Governor Leadership Summit

I learned so much about Charlie’s and Rese’s platform and the wonderful work they have been doing.

Rese’s platform is Be Positive: Pandemic Perseverance. Visit her website page HERE, watch her campaign video HERE, and read her blog HERE.

Charlie’s platform is Childhood Depression. Visit his website page HERE, watch his campaign video HERE, and read his blog HERE.

After that we asked each other questions such as “what was the most interesting thing you have done till date.” I answered the questions as best I could. Then we got a 5 minute break before our cabinet members came.

As I turned my video off and muted I thought  “That was a very interesting session. I couldn’t wait for the next session.”

Meeting with Senator Merkley

Hello Everyone, Just some time ago I met with Senator Merkley. Can you believe it? He is part of the two senators of the United State Senate from Oregon. He votes on bills for the whole country!

It was 12:10 PM and I was soon to meet Senator Merkley. My nerves were bouncing all over my stomach like there was a trampoline party in there. When I joined the meeting I saw that Senator Merkley had not come yet. I was then told that Senator Merkley had such a tight schedule that he would only be here for about 10-15 minutes.

For the next 5 mins I was going like “Is he here yet ?” “Is he here yet?” inside of me. I couldn’t control my excitement. For that 5 mins my nerves were crazier than ever.

I was so grateful that he took some time out of his super tight schedule to meet me. It is a big honor. I told him all about my platform and what I have been doing till date.

Taneesh and Senator Merkley

After I finished, I asked him some questions. One of the questions were “How does the Senate and the House work together” and “How does every Senator agree to pass a law” He was kind enough to take the time to answer and explain to me how the Congress works. It was so nice to learn about it. He patiently answered all of my questions. Senator Merkley also talked about voting, the filibuster, and For the People Act. It was very fascinating meeting and I wish I could do it again.

Meeting with Senator Merkley was a wonderful opportunity that I will remember forever.

~Taneesh

Mexican Culture Club Be You Meeting

Hello everyone

June 2 was another big Club Be You meeting. We had a record breaking number of participants.

First and foremost, once again I would like to say a big Thank You to our wonderful core team who helped me research and create these presentations to share with the whole club. I would like to thank everyone who joined. Thank you for supporting Club Be You and me.

We thought of the idea of having a raffle to bring in more participants so that this learning reaches many many more kids and bingo it worked. Every participant was automatically entered into the raffle. As the raffle wheel spun everyone was waiting in suspense and excitement

We learned about the Mexican culture this time. Mexican culture is rich, colorful and vibrant, influenced by its ancient civilizations. The customs and traditions are varied and diverse. I was so fascinated to learn all about Mexico while I was researching.

PowerPoint slide with photo of man playing guitar and man playing xylophone

Food is a reflection on a person’s upbringing in the cultural melting pot of America and becomes a great way of bringing people together over a table, whatever the location or occasion may be.

PowerPoint slide with photos of salsa, spanish rice and other Mexican foods.

We also researched about sports. That is something that interests all of us.

PowerPoint slide with photo of a foot holding a soccer ball and a man in a bull fight.

Fun fact: Did you think that Egypt had all the pyramids? Well actually the largest pyramid is located in Mexico.

At the end of the presentation, we organized a Kahoot as well which was really fun for everyone. The kids were all very excited about the Kahoot and it was a tight race.

Screen capture of Kahoot game with some of Mexico's instruments

It was an interactive session with lots of questions too. We had kids in the meeting from the Mexican culture and they helped us answer a lot of questions as well. Together we are always stronger.

Please see the presentation of the Mexican Culture here, and if you find some time, please read through it.
If you want to join Club Be You, email clubbeyou2021@gmail.com. See you next time

~Taneesh

Juneteenth

Hello Everyone,

Just a few days back I got to know about the holiday Juneteenth. I was given the wonderful opportunity to have a meeting with Senator Merkley (I will be posting a blog entry about that as well). Oregon Deputy Secretary of State Cheryl Meyers was also there and in that meeting she was so kind to tell me about Juneteenth.

On September 22nd, 1862 Abraham Lincoln signed the Proclamation or bill that got rid of slavery. Many people did not know that they were free until 2 ½ years later when Gordon Granger arrived in Texas to announce the end of slavery. The day this happened was June 19th 1865 and it was made a holiday. Recently President Biden made June 19th a Federal holiday. This day is now called Juneteenth.

Some ways people celebrate Juneteenth are going to rodeos, fishing, barbecuing, and going to baseball games. Also there are dances on Juneteenth. There were many events for Juneteenth in and around Portland as well.

Some ways for us to celebrate now or in the future are ordering from a black owned restaurant or celebrating with a family barbecue. We can also celebrate by spreading the word .

Some cool facts about Juneteenth are:

  • Juneteenth is the oldest known holiday that celebrates the end of slavery in our great country U.S.A
  • Some cities and groups have Miss Juneteenth contests
  • There is a Juneteenth flag of freedom, it is half red and half blue with a star in the middle
    Juneteenth Flag

What do you think about Juneteenth? Let us know if you did anything special on Juneteenth. Email us at or.kidgovernor@gmail.com. We’d love to hear from you. See you next time.

Taneesh

 

Club Be You: Israeli Culture

Hi friends,

May 12 was another Club Be You meeting. We learned about the Israeli culture during that time.

The Core team had spent hours researching, taking to families and learning about the Israeli culture and now it was time to finally present to all the kids what we had learned.

The meeting was starting soon but this time I felt more confident and of course I have a wonderful team. As I logged on I saw lots of kids who were there last time and also some new friends.

Soon it was 3 PM and we started. I was very excited for this Club Be You meetup because we had invited a special guest. Her name is Rhona Feldman. She was going to teach Club Be You some Israeli folk dancing.

Screen shot of Food section of Taneesh's presentation

As we presented and saw people nodding and smiling it gave us confidence that it was going well. Nitzan showed us how to write in Hebrew and say a few words in Hebrew.

Our special guest Rhona started to present. Rhona is an Israeli folk dancing teacher who teaches at the Multnomah Art Center. She taught us a really cool dance under the song Shalom which represents Peace in the world. We all danced along with her and had so much fun. Lots of kids asked us and Rhona questions and the session was very interactive. I would definitely want to go attend one of her dance sessions.

Screen shot of folk dance class on zoom

While I was learning about the Israeli culture from one of the families, I learned that Falafel was one of the main dishes in the culture.

Taneesh and his sister make falafel
Making falafel

So I decided to make Falafel with the help of my Mom and Sister. They were so kind to share their family recipe with us and so we decided to make it. It was a fun experience and it was yumm dinner. I even wanted seconds.

We also learned about the Dead Sea under Fun Facts of Israel. Its water is so dense that you can only float on it. You cannot sink nor dive. So cool.

It was an interactive session with lots of questions and answers too. Here is a link to the presentation of the Israeli Culture and if you find some time, please read through it.

A boy holding a bowl with chocolate hummus inside
Chocolate Hummus!! How innovative and yummy!

One of our dear Club Be You participants, Aryav, also made Hummus but with an exciting twist…

Soon it was time to go. I said bye and closed the meeting. I thought the meeting went really well. Even better than last time. If you want to join Club Be you email clubbeyou2021@gmail.com. See you next time

~ Taneesh