State Rep. Paul Evans meets with young constitutents


State Rep. Paul Evans meets with young constitutents

4:27 p.m. PST December 12, 2015

Shannon Mowry, a fourth-grade teacher at Myers Elementary School, has been teaching her students about the power of their voices.

The class has been learning about the three branches of government, and to demonstrate the power each student has, Mowry had each of her 31 students send a letter to state Rep. Paul Evans, asking him to attend their class.

“I was humbled and touched by all of the letters the kids sent,” Evans said. “I enjoy speaking with students. They ask great questions and have interesting observations.”

Evans responded to the letters by attending Mowry’s class on Friday. He brought along his dog, Beau, a 5-year-old golden retriever.

Evans’ visit confirmed with the students that their voices matter, Mowry said.

Though most of their questions were about Evans’ dog, they did learn a lot about politics and the representative as well.

Students were most surprised to learn that legislators actually write the bills and that Evans was in the military and was a city councilman at the age of 18.

Evans invited the kids to observe the state politicians in action in February when they are back in session, and he invited Mowry to come speak individually about what it is really like in Oregon classrooms.

He also gave them a website address where students can send pictures, letters and concerns to be read by Evans and other state representatives.

“It was fantastic,” Mowry said. “I think it is great that he values being in the schools.”, (503) 399-6745, or follow on Twitter @Nataliempate or


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Natalie Pate

Natalie Pate is the education reporter for the Statesman Journal in Salem, Oregon. Natalie has previously worked for organizations and publications such as Direct Relief International, Waging Non-Violence, and Amnesty International USA. She has had stories published with USA Today, Associated Press and Ozy, among others. Natalie earned her B.A. in Politics and French and Francophone Studies (FFS) from Willamette University. During her studies, she wrote a Politics thesis titled, "No One is Dying: How and Why the U.S. Federal Government Avoids Executing Prisoners on Federal Death Row" and an FFS thesis, in French, on cannibalism in the 16th and 17th centuries. Natalie is a journalist, performer, traveler, fiction writer and more. She is working to publish her dystopian novella, "Choice," which follows a man during 24 hours in solitary confinement for allegedly committing murder. For more information on Natalie visit, like her on Facebook at, or follow Natalie on Twitter (@Nataliempate) or Tumblr (Nataliempate blog "In the Shoes of a Journalist"). Her reporting with the Statesman Journal can also be found at

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