My first Senate testimony


Yonah Davis

When the chair of the Minnesota Senate E-12 Finance and Policy Committee, Carla Nelson, called my name and invited me to begin my testimony my heart began to pound.

I could hear myself speak as I presented my prepared remarks about the importance of personal finance education in high school in support of SF19. 

The bill mandates a required credit of personal finance education for high school graduation.

Speaking before the committee reminded me of the Senate simulation in my ninth grade civics course.

From the formalities of addressing the committee to the process of bringing a bill to law, the simulation was surprisingly realistic.

Often, I feel disconnected from the important legislative work being done at the state level.

National news and world crises overwhelm my news feed, and I am caught up in the never-ending cycle.

Regretfully, I neglect to follow the important work being done by my elected representatives at the state level who work hard to improve our lives.

The Senate hearing gave me a taste of what true democracy is like.

Procedural pomp and circumstance aside, at the heart of the hearing, there was a desire to connect the needs of the people with the function of the government.

From bills about new approaches to career education to army recruitment options, citizens spoke passionately about the issues that matter to them- — and the legislators listened.

Even though attending a hearing may seem like a boring or trivial use of time, I encourage everyone to attend at least one during their lifetime.

The U.S. democratic system is designed to represent the people’s interests and testifying before the Senate is a fantastic way to share your voice.

While it may seem more important to follow national news, often, local decisions have a greater impact.