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Governor Candidate Speeches

By Emily Martin
North Raleigh Christian Academy

In the opening ceremony of the 2019 Youth and Government Conference on Thursday night, Alexa Gomez, Simba Mushayamunda, and Pearce Lewis presented their campaign videos and speeches for the position of Youth Governor. When asked what he thought about the Governor candidates, Brooks Meine, a Court of Appeals Attorney said, “every candidate seemed well qualified and well prepared for the job, and I’m excited to see who is next year’s governor.”

Alexa Gomez

Alexa Gomez claimed that if elected governor, her top priority would be the delegates of North Carolina Youth and Government. “You all are my priority, my only priority,” said Gomez.

Gomez sees the positive change that Y&G has made on delegates, especially when prior Governors reached out to them, and wants to do this for all present and future students at Y&G.

“I’ve seen the change it [Y&G] has made in me and you all,” emphasized Gomez. “I have so many ideas to improve Y&G internally.”

She also stressed the fact that “America has never seen a generation like ours. She said that today’s teens have the greatest responsibility as America’s next leaders. “America has never seen a generation like this,” said Gomez.

Gomez introduced the idea of a research room where delegates who’s bill failed could read bills coming up on the docket and prepare themselves to speak pro or con on a bill. She wants to decrease the boredom and monotony of Saturday chambers by implementing programs and activities such as the research room.
Additionally, Gomez said that she would focus on actively pursuing new schools to join Y&G, and has already started working with schools to start programs there. “I’ve already started speaking to a local public school in my area about creating a delegation,” said Gomez.

Gomez closed her speech by encouraging delegates to vote based on their feelings and opinion as opposed to voting based on the opinions of others."I’m not asking you to vote for me,” said Gomez. “I’m asking you to vote for yourself [and] for your peers. This election isn’t about me.”

When asked her thoughts on Gomez’s speech, sophomore House representative Emily Weyne said, “Alexa did a really good job of thinking and planning out her ideas and future plans for Y&G.”

PEARCE LEWIS

Relationships and experiences during and after past Youth and Government conferences instilled confidence in governor candidate Pearce Lewis that she never imagined possessing.

She wants to give back to Y&G because it has impacted her life in such a significant manner. “Each of us is a successor to those who come before us,” declared Lewis. “We build on their successes to make this program stronger. We see on their shoulders as we look forward to creating a solid foundation for those who follow us.”

If elected Governor, Lewis wants to make a difference in the state as well as at conference. She would work to give delegates the opportunity to speak with their North Carolina Senators and Representatives. “I believe every single one of you here has a voice that deserves to be heard,” said Lewis.

Lewis believes the state legislature should set aside one day a year to discuss the bills passed in Governor’s Cabinet, and has already begun talking to people in Raleigh about this possibility.

“It only makes sense to propose the best of these ideas to the NC legislature,” said Lewis.

Lewis also stressed that she wants to inspire delegates, as they have inspired her, to be “the change you wish to see in the world.” She aims to make Y&G a place where every student will benefit and create change.

She closed with the statement, “Working together, we can, and we will lead our conference, North Carolina, and the United States to a brighter future.”

Simba Mushayamunda

Simba Mushayamunda opened with a Zimbabwean saying that means, “It is good to be here,” and told delegates he looked forward to meeting them.

Mushayamunda’s goal is for each delegate to have the best time at conference. He wants everyone to flourish and go home with a newfound sense of confidence. “My goal is for each of you to have the best time, to flourish, and to go home with a strong foundation,” said Mushayamunda.

Mushayamunda also expressed his interest in expanding the conference to include more schools.“Y&G is a beacon of hope, providing change and giving us as students the opportunity to make a difference in this state,” said Mushayamunda.

If Mushayamunda becomes Governor, he will work to make sure everyone has their opinion, voice, and perspective considered.

“As governor, I want to make sure everyone’s voice is heard,” said Mushayamunda.
However, Mushayamunda plans on improving the bill-passage process by making sure only the best bills advance through chambers. His focus is on delegates having fun and feeling comfortable at the conference.

He declared that while the election is Saturday, he is ready to serve as soon now.
“The election is Saturday,” said Mushayamunda, “but I am ready to serve you today.”

As a second-year delegate, Mushayamunda said that he brings a fresh perspective. He emphasized that “leadership should not just be an insider’s club.”

Mushayamunda closed by saying that no man or woman is an island, and asked the delegates to join him in a cheer of “We are better together!”

“Simba did a really good job of bringing new energy to Y&G that we don’t always see in a governor,” said Representative Weyne.