A Civics Lesson: Pending Quahog Legislation
|Flickr photo by National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration|
I love legal research and food. When the two of them combine into one, that makes a happy day for me.
Did you know that the quahog might become the official shellfish of Massachusetts? After reading an article, I decided to, please forgive me, dig a little deeper.
State Senator Marc Pacheco of Taunton sponsored Bill S01711. There was a hearing yesterday in the Joint Committee on Tourism, Arts and Cultural Development, but nothing has been reported yet.
Now according to some Universal Hub comments and other articles that I've seen online, many might think that this legislation is a frivolous waste of time and money. But I called Senator Pacheco's office and got some background information that might change some minds.
The legislation is a result of a civics lesson. Back in 2007, 8th grade students at Taunton Catholic Middle School were learning about how our government works. As they were studying the legislative process, the students and their teacher decided that it would be an even better lesson if they could initiate legislation themselves. They did some research and found that the hard clam or quahog has been very important to the state throughout history.
Senator Pacheco has helped them with the process and the bill has been filed many times. The students who first started the process are in high school now, but they kept up with it over the years and some even gave testimony at the hearing. The teacher still uses this legislation as a teaching tool for new classes.
To me, this shows a real dedication to learning by the students. This process couldn't be anything further from being a waste of time. What's more important than getting the next generation excited about being good citizens? These kids will be voting soon. And with a big election coming up in 2012, the more informed our electorate, the better.
For those of you who might be a bit more concerned with the taste of quahogs rather than the politics, here's a recipe for Baked Stuffed Clams. It looks good!
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