Rep. BJ Nesselhuf addresses Girls State District 17 State Rep. BJ Nesselhuf spoke to the Girls State gathering last week in Brookings.
He told the 470 high school juniors about why he ran for the South Dakota Legislature and what issues are important to him.
"I was upset by what I was seeing in Pierre," Nesselhuf said. "I thought that I had two options: either sit and complain about it or get up and do something. That something turned out to be running for the State House."
Nesselhuf said energy is an issue that should receive top national priority.
"We need to be looking at other options rather than just producing more oil. We need to look at production, but we also need to expand our conservation efforts as well as further developing renewable resources such as ethanol."
Nesselhuf encouraged the girls to get involved. "As you turn 18 it is vital that you not only vote but that you participate in every step of the process. You belong to the group of citizens that vote the least and because of that you belong to the group most overlooked by policy makers."
Vermillion High School's Girls State participants were Mary Nelson, Elizabeth Slagle, Karen Sorensen, Megan Kruse and Ashley Thompson. Wakonda High School was represented by Deb Book.