I have never attended hearings in the Idaho Legislature before because I live in Pocatello. I traveled to Boise intending to testify in the Senate State Affairs Committee Feb. 24. Road conditions were terrible; however, I arrived a half-hour early and signed in near the top of the first page. When the hearing convened, three men monopolized the first hour, all speaking in favor of the bill. Following, 25 more spoke, all against, and each was limited to three minutes. My name was never called.
When the hearing ended, I abruptly left. I no longer cared how the committee voted — I had wasted enough time and energy: the two hours composing my testimony, the stressful drive, the anxiety of anticipating speaking in such a formal setting, the imbalance and unfairness of it all. During the time I waited, I had continued to revise my testimony because I did not want to be redundant or waste the senators’ time. Imagine.
After leaving, I sought out my senator, Mark Nye, and explained what had happened. My final words to him were, “Obviously, someone like me doesn’t matter.”
Susan Matsuura, Pocatello