Crowds. Students. Energy.
Did you think that would be the words I would use to describe the normal activity at the Capitol building? If you are like me, you envisioned a few “important people” dressed in suits, both pants and skirts, wandering the halls of this majestic building alone. Well there are these folks, but they are just part of the often, sardine-like crowd that descends on the Capitol each day.
The people’s gallery (not the peanut gallery!)
You have access to the building from 8AM-5PM, except on Georgia State Holidays. During the session you can really see some action because you can watch what is going on from the Gallery of each chamber on the 4th floor. Often legislators will have local constituents present in the Gallery and they will take the podium in the chamber to recognize them, having them stand for applause while the chamber members crane their necks to look in the gallery above. The gallery is much like balcony seats at the theatre.
On any given day, the Rotunda, the second floor of the Capitol Building that is open area, will have activities going on… bands playing, exhibitors exhibiting, groups gathering! It is an endless flow of activity. The North Steps, just below where the Aging Advocates gather, is where groups gather on the steps for pictures with the Governor. I am amazed at how often I see him out there, smiling for the camera in front of an excited group of Georgians or a bored looking gang of students! You, too, can arrange to have your picture made with our Governor, but you must plan ahead. Click here to find out how.
Uga, Loch or Pounce under the Dome
Another frequent siting around the Capitol is mascots. Every day I am there (typically 2-3 days/week) I see a different symbol of school pride. Last week I had the honor of getting a photo taken with “Loch” the mascot of the Clayton State College Lakers - appropriately named because of the many beautiful lakes on the campus. I learned this only because I engaged him for a photo! The Georgia National Guard had their mascot- a giant blow up of a uniformed soldier was so tall he had to be led around by a guide so he didn't bump into lighting or other delicate furniture.
I am told that the Peanut farmers have a day at the Capitol when they serve grilled peanut butter sandwiches! Yes, you read that right. I’ve heard tell that they are quite tasty. I am secretly hoping I have to be at the Capitol on Peanut farmer day! There are advocates roaming the Capitol daily during the session for any issue you can imagine. Last week I was intrigued by the folks wearing “I float & I vote” buttons as well as a large group wearing yellow scarves. My curiosity got the best of me… I asked them what they were advocating for. The floaters were Water Conservationists and those donning bright yellow scarves were advocating for School Choice. So, if you have something that is important to you… come to the Capitol. We hope it is to join the Aging Advocates, but all of us have lots of issues on our minds. Come join the crowds and express your opinion. Wear something eye-catching and you’ll get more attention!