Oregon Girl Scouts Make History and News from Capitol City
Tuesday, November 7, 2017, marked not only Election Day, but an historic day at the Oregon State Capitol. Governor Kate Brown ceremonially signed House Bill 2732, Oregon’s ‘Good Samaritan’ law, which was proposed by four young members of Girl Scout Troop 10037, based in Salem, Oregon. Representatives from Girl Scouts of Oregon and Southwest Washington (GSOSW), the Oregon Legislature and the Oregon Humane Society were present for the signing. Local freelance journalist, Dick Hughes, Hughesisms LLC, captured some of the special moments of the ceremonial signing in this video.
Rep. Brian Clem (D-Salem)—father of one of the Girl Scouts that worked on this project—authored and introduced House Bill (HB) 2732. The legislation provides that a person who enters a motor vehicle to remove a child or domestic animal in imminent danger of suffering harm is not subject to criminal or civil liability. “I’m just really proud of these girls,” said Rep. Clem. “From the beginning, they’ve been fearless advocates for this bill.” The new law went into effect on June 22, 2017.
"I thought it was really cool that we were able to help pass this bill. My troop and I were able to convince legislators that this bill is super important to babies and animals left in hot cars. Then, this summer, my family read about a dog rescued in Portland by a woman who learned about the new law. A car window was broken so that a small dog could be rescued. It makes me really happy that our legislature listens to us and that we have a voice. I was happy to be a part of the process."
—Lily H., Troop 10037, Salem, Oregon
“There’s no telling how many lives their law is going to save moving forward,” said Rep. Clem.
Making the World a Better Place
As Girl Scouts, it is our mission to make the world a better place. “We are enormously proud of all of the hard work our girls put in, including testifying in the House and Senate committee hearings that contributed to the passage of HB 2732,” said Girl Scout Troop 10037 Co-Leader, Carol Suzuki.
“I like knowing that even though we are young, we made a difference and created a law that protects children and animals. Now people will know what they can and can’t do to help when a child or animal is trapped in a hot car. I learned that every minute counts.”
—Kohana C., Salem, Oregon
The confidence and poise projected by the girls during their testimony was not lost on by Sen. James Manning (D-Eugene) who shares his impressions in this video from the signing. [Video courtesy of Dick Hughes, Hughesisms LLC.] “We really try to support our girls in standing up for issues and causes that are important to them,” said Troop 10037 Co-Leader, Mckenzie Farrell.
Advocacy and Civic Engagement at Any Age
A unique aspect of the ceremonial signing event, which made it extra special, was that Governor Kate Brown presented the girls with their “Inside Government” badge, which they earned through their efforts regarding HB 2732. The girls completed five key steps in pursuit of this badge, including deciding what being an active citizen means to them, learning how lawmaking and governance work, and getting involved community government. “I believe that encouraging civic engagement and advocacy at a young age is important,” said Carol Suzuki. “It teaches them that while they may not be old enough to vote, they can still use their voices and their actions to affect change.”
“House Bill 2732 - the "Good Samaritan Law" will save the lives of many children and animals. I liked going to the meetings because they were interesting and helped me learn how laws are passed. ”
—Katherine L., Troop 10037, Salem, Oregon
Did you know?
Did you know that 76 percent of female U.S. Senators and 100 percent of female U.S. Secretaries of State are Girl Scout alumnae? It’s true! Girl Scouts has a century of success which is reflected in the realm of public service. “By encouraging and mentoring girls at such a pivotal stage, we’re showing girls a path to pursuing their dreams while instilling the value of civic engagement to support a new generation of leaders throughout Oregon,” said Oregon Governor Kate Brown.
What Girl Scouting Is All About
Girl Scouts garnered the praise of Governor Kate Brown, who stated “Cultivating compassion, initiative, and leadership are hallmarks of the Girl Scouts.” Girl Scouts of Oregon and Southwest Washington’s Chief Executive Officer, Karen Hill, concurred with the Governor, conveying “This is such a shining example of what Girl Scouting is all about. These young women saw a need and took the lead to create positive change in Oregon.”
Memories of a Lifetime
The girls’ civic engagement project undoubtedly will have lasting impact on them personally as well as on the lives of Oregonians. “Throughout this process the girls have learned so much and experienced so many new things,” said Mckenzie Farrell. The culmination of their project, the ceremonial signing and badge presentation by Governor Kate Brown, has created memories that will last a lifetime.
“Attending the ceremonial bill signing with Governor Brown was a very memorable experience … something I will never forget and look back on with great pride.”
—Zoe F., Troop 10037, Salem, Oregon
G.I.R.L. Agenda—Girls Scouts’ NEW Civic Engagement Program!
In early October, Girl Scouts of the U.S.A. launched the G.I.R.L. Agenda, a nonpartisan initiative powered by Girl Scouts to inspire, prepare, and mobilize girls to lead positive change through civic action. To learn more, please visit http://www.girlscouts.org/girlagenda.
Fast Facts About Girl Scouts of Oregon and Southwest
GSOSW serves 13,955 girls in 37 counties with the help of nearly 10,000 volunteers. Every opportunity in Girl Scouting develops essential skills in an all-girl, inclusive, safe environment. For information, please visit girlscoutsosw.org.