Erika Glas is a young lady with a lot of potential. Her family has been involved with the King County Parent Coalition and The Arc of King County for many years, so when we heard she was headed to Olympia to be in the Page Program, we thought we’d follow up with an interview. She sat down with Adrianne Oglesby last week for a quick conversation. The original interview was first posted in our March 2012 E-News.
Q. So, Erika, why were you interested in being a page?
A. When I was in third grade, I went to Olympia with my mom and we met with Representative Jamie Pedersen and Senator Ed Murray. Representative Pedersen encouraged me to apply to be a page when I was older. I took his advice, as I thought the whole learning process would be good and I’d meet a lot of different people.
Q. What did you like about being a page?
A. It was really interesting learning how government works. I never knew how complicated it really is to pass a bill.
Q. Were there any challenges to being a page?
A. On the first day, finding where everything was and walking around on the marble floors all day was a little annoying. Marble is hard on your feet when you’re walking around for several hours. Also, there was Apple Day where we delivered apples to all of the reps and their assistants. We had to wheel them to the elevator and then to the offices. I didn’t expect to deliver 200 boxes of apples.
Q. What were your days like?
A. For two hours a day, we were in page school and we learned about the government process. We wrote our own bills and we tried to pass them in a mock committee hearing. If you weren’t assigned to work in a certain place, you were in the page room. Deliveries would come in and then the pages would deliver them. Sometimes a representative would ask you to make a delivery to the Chamber floor. When the representative was on the floor, you would walk around and deliver to the representatives there. That was really exciting to be on the House Chamber floor, as the only people allowed on the floor are security, representatives and pages.
Q. Did you receive any training?
A. Before we started work, we got a page handbook that talked about the basics of being a page. The handbook talked about what we would be doing and how to act. At first it was a little nerve-wracking, because there was this thing called line of site, where the Speaker had to remain in the representative’s eye contact. If you got in the way, you had to kneel down. I felt worried about forgetting to kneel down. But it wasn’t too hard. When they were finished, you would get up and continue.
Q. What did you think of the Capitol buildings?
A. It was neat being in there. The day before we started work, we got a tour of the Capitol building. That was pretty cool. It was about the history of the building and they told us some facts. One interesting fact was that the chandelier inside was the biggest chandelier that Tiffany & Company ever made. Also, they said that you could fit a queen-sized bed inside of the chandelier.
Q. What was it like to work with a representative?
A. I never knew how much work a representative really did. I think it would be really interesting to be one, but it seemed like a lot of work. Sometimes they work until midnight if they have to. I wouldn’t really want to do that.
Thanks for taking the time to talk to us, Erika!