Growing up with Annapolis in my backyard, spending a lot of time in Downtown Annapolis (DTA), and looking at the state house from a far, I never truly appreciated everything that takes place in the capital of my home state. I just go there for the dining and shopping! That was until I went there with the University of Maryland Dietetic Internship.
The Maryland Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics (MAND) arranged a legislative event in downtown Annapolis. The event, which was held at the restaurant, Harry Browne’s, a place I would go for brunch, counted as a joint class day. The teams were made up of interns and registered dietitians based on living locations. Meetings were set-up with delegates and senators to discuss our stance on certain nutrition-related bills. A few guest speakers provided us with advice on how to speak with legislators.
|My team with Delegate Mark Chang|
|Megan Solloway and I outside the Senate|
The second day spent in downtown Annapolis was a public policy day with the University of Maryland interns. The class day started with a history lesson on the state house and what events take place in that building. Learning about the history of the building reminded me of a school field trip although I would certainly pass on the traditional brown bag lunch of a high school student for some steak and seafood at a nice City Dock restaurant.
Some interesting facts picked up from the tour:
1. The stained glass ceilings were designed by Tiffany & Co.
2. It is the only state house to serve as the nation’s capital.
3. The lighting rod on top of the dome was constructed to Benjamin Franklin’s specifications.
Next, we observed the Senate in session and the House of Delegates. As an intern class, we were announced in both sessions. Then, we met with Senator Brochin who was very candid with us and answered any questions we had. He even invited us to observe him debate bills with one of the committees he serves on. The day ended when we met recently-elected Maryland Governor Larry Hogan! We got the opportunity to briefly chat with him, and he even took individual pictures with each intern. Governor Hogan asked us for nutrition advice now that he has a personal chef. What a lucky guy!
|UMD Dietetic Interns with Governor Hogan|