Ky. 9-year-old to Congress: Thanks for ruining my field trip, now start acting like adults

10/01/2013 11:46 PM

UPDATED: After her scheduled class field trip to Mammoth Cave National Park was canceled for Wednesday because of the government shutdown, Henderson 4th grader Meredith Gold complained — to Congress.

“This made us very disappointed,” Gold wrote in an email Tuesday night to staff members of three members of Congress from Kentucky. “Some kids may not be able to go to places like these unless they go there with their class. Also my family loves going to the Great Smoky Mountains National Park. We were going to go there next week, but now maybe not.”

Gold, a student at East Heights Elementary in Henderson, is the 9-year-old daughter of Steve Gold, the Henderson County Attorney who has served on the Kentucky Democratic Party’s executive committee.

Steve Gold said the letter was his daughter’s idea after the field trip for the school’s 4th grade was cancelled.

“The great thing is that, except for a spelling tip here or there, the words were her own, as was the idea. She spent quite a while making sure she had it “just right,” Gold told Pure Politics.

The younger Gold sent the email Tuesday night to the White House, Holly Lewis, a field representative for Republican U.S. Sen. Mitch McConnell; Kimberly Halter, the constituent services director for 2nd District Republican U.S. Rep. Brett Guthrie of Bowling Green; and Sandy Simpson, a field representative for 1st District Republican U.S. Rep. Ed Whitfield of Hopkinsville.

UPDATED: Steve Gold said the original email went to the entire Kentucky delegation, including Democratic Congressman John Yarmuth’s office. But some of the emails bounced back because of outdated email addresses, he said in a follow-up email that included attached “undeliverable” notices to those addresses.

The government shutdown, which began Tuesday, means furloughs for nearly 800,000 non-essential federal employees and the closure of national parks and monuments, as well as a freeze on federally-backed loans for small businesses, among other effects.

Gold’s message comes as some observers, such as the Harvard Institute of Politics’ Trey Grayson, have said that the quickest way to end the shutdown is for Americans to voice their frustration directly to Congress.

But Gold did more than just complain. She also included some advice for Congress about how to move past the stalemate over a continuing resolution to keep the government funded.

“At my school when we get into disagreements we compromise, work as a team, use leadership, have a positive attitude, and respect each other. I encourage you to do this in Washington, D.C.,” she wrote to conclude her message.

About Ryan Alessi

Ryan Alessi joined cn|2 in May 2010 as senior managing editor and host of Pure Politics. He is now pursuing an advanced degree in non-fiction writing from Murray State University and is a regular contributor to Pure Politics. Ryan has covered politics for more than 14 years, including seven years as a reporter for the Lexington Herald-Leader. Ryan can be reached at or @mycn2 on Twitter.


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