Student serves Ivey as page

Published 3:00 am Thursday, April 9, 2015

Meredith Gramley thought she would like to have a career that placed her in a leadership role. After serving as a page for Lt. Gov. Kay Ivey at the state capitol last week she is absolutely sure.

“Serving as a page was a wonderful leadership opportunity for me,” said Gramley, who is a junior at Charles Henderson High School. “I hope to have another opportunity next year because, it’s a great way to see what it’s like to be a leader in state government. That is now my goal – to be a leader in my community. I want to be actively involved in the lives of the people where I live.”

Gramley said being a page at the capitol was an opportunity to see first hand the extensive process of bill becoming a law.

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“My idea was that someone would present a bill and the Legislators would vote on it and it would or would not become a law,” she said. “But there’s a lot more to it than that. I was amazed how bills would be read and voted on and then go back to committee to be changed and voted on again. Both houses have to approve a bill and sometimes one will approve it and the other won’t. It’s back and forth and sometimes a bill just dies.”

Gramley said prison reform was on the floor and she’s not sure exactly sure how she would have voted if given the opportunity.

“I could see both sides,” she said. “Building more prisons would be very costly and taxes would probably have to be increased to pay for them. But, then, I’m not sure that it’s a good thing to let people who have committed substance abuse crimes out just because the prisons are overcrowded. Making decisions like that must be hard for our Legislators.”

Gramley’s duty as a page for the lieutenant governor was to run errands.

“Steve Pelham, chief of staff for Lt. Gov. Ivey, was the one who gave me errands to run,” she said. “Sometimes, I would take papers that had to be copied or copies of bills from one place to another. When I was not running errands, I got to watch government in action and it was exciting.”

Gramley was impressed with Ivey and viewed her as a “woman in charge.”

“I got to meet Lt. Gov. Ivey and Gov. Robert Bentley,” Gramley said. ‘I liked him. He seemed like he is strong and independent. I saw Rep. Alan Boothe and Sen. Jimmy Holley and it was good to see them because they represent us in state government.”

Gramley said all three days were interesting and exciting but what she will remember most is the opportunity to lead the Pledge of Allegiance at the state house.

“It was complete surprise,” she said. “Lt. Gov. Ivey told me just before time. She told who I was and where I was from. I was nervous that I might forget what to say. But leading the pledge was a real honor and something that I’ll always remember.”