State Representative Welch Wants the Herd to be Heard
by: Gabi Mintrup
“I think people involved in politics should love what they’re doing, do what they love, and be fully committed to it.” This is what Representative Emanuel Chris Welch had to say when asked what advice he would give someone who wants to be involved in politics.
Representative Welch came to speak to the 58 officers, candidates, committee chairs, editors and others that were in Springfield on Thursday for team building and training. We had the opportunity to ask Welch some questions about his involvement in the government and its importance.
Welch has a background similar to many of us. When asked what got him into government, he said, “I think I started in government pretty early on. When I was in high school, I was class president all four years. When I was in college, I was involved in student government.” He added, “After I graduated law school, I bought a house in the area where I grew up. Our local high school had several strikes.” Because of this, Welch looked into joining the school board. Finding it very unprofessional, he decided to run for a position, not realizing how political the school board could be. He was on the school board for twelve years, and then decided to join the legislature where he is today.
Representative Welch believes that the Youth and Government program is very important claiming, “The more we can get the youth involved, the bigger impact we can have. If you want to be heard, you have to be involved.”
Because of his experience as a college athlete playing baseball for Northwestern University, Welch has recently filed a bill allowing NCAA athletes to profit off of their name. It passed very quickly in the House of Representatives and is currently being discussed in the Senate. There is a bill very similar to this that was written by students from our very own Youth and Government program, delegates Carson Latta and Logan Kirk from the Sesser-Valier delegation. Great minds think alike!