Pink power

This girl will be running for president some day.

Grand Junction – Colorado’s newest political force wears pink sneakers and, at times, hops around her office in them. She makes a smiley face out of push pins on a bulletin board next to a letter she received from a senator. And she wrinkles her nose and tosses her braid when she feels the need to explain that the flag hanging behind her desk is “like the one that Betsy Ross made, but it’s not the actual real one.”

Lily Thorpe, 10, might be a pint-sized political activist, but since she registered with the Colorado secretary of state’s office in February and officially created Colorado’s first political action committee headed by a grade-schooler, she has become a political player in the big world of caucuses and endorsements.

. . . At the top of Lily’s list of causes is funding for education.

Lily levels her blues eyes across the top of the table she can barely see over as she explains how the encyclopedias at her school are about 14 years old.

“How are kids supposed to learn about 9/11 with that?” she asks, referring to the terrorist attacks against the United States on Sept. 11, 2001.

She talks about pages falling out of her teacher’s books, broken hula hoops on the playground, kids who can’t read and have no tutors to help – problems she listed during a recent speech before the Mesa County Valley School District board.

Betsy says schools shouldn’t buy new encyclopedias: Use the Internet.

Is it a little weird that the Denver Post felt the need to explain 9/11?

About Joanne


  1. “Is it a little weird that the Denver Post felt the need to explain 9/11?”


    Not when you consider that much of the media seems to be acting as if it didn’t happen–or–when they mention it, they do so as of it was a natural disaster instead of an attack. We are watching as history is being re-written.

  2. Bullshhhh Jack…

    (1) Bush’s invasion of Iraq is a distraction from the War on Terror… not a cornerstone of it… After 9-11, there was unprecedented bipartisanship… the American people were quite willing to rally behind the president… The vast majority of Americans (including the vast majority of Democrats, myself included) fully supported Bush in the toppling of the Taliban in Afghanistan… who were directly and indirectly involved in 9-11. I’m glad Saddam is gone… but this is NOT the way it should have been done…

    (2) The people of N.Y., especially N.Y.C. certainly do not pretend as if 9-11 didn’t happen… to this day, they still live with the scars… although I did not lose anyone close to me, a friend lost her husband in the Twin Towers…
    If Bush’s invasion of Iraq was so clearly connected to 9-11, wouldn’t you expect the people most severely affected by 9-11 to be supporting Bush the most? Well, recent polls show Kerry leading Bush by 23 points in N.Y.!!!! Clearly, NY hasn’t fallen for the lie that Iraq was responsible for 9-11 nor a key part of terrorism either.

  3. And how much did the state go for Gore? I think that’s probably the baseline you should be comparing against. Something very weird indeed would have to happen for NYC to favor a Republican candidate for President…

    But back to the girl’s complaint about encyclopedias: when I was in school, I used encyclopedias that were published the year I was born. Guess what? The really old history hadn’t changed much, and neither had a lot of topics I was learning about. How new do the encyclopedias need to be to look up a reference about Ben Franklin?

  4. Who said anything about Iraq?

  5. jab,
    Not bad points, though I disagree with most of them. But wasn’t your response a little off topic?

    I had not noticed the media ignoring 9/11. The 9/11 commission gets plenty of coverage. 9/11 is mentioned daily in stories about Iraq, Afghanistan, terrorism, and other topics. You might not agree with the way 9/11 events are reported but they are reported a lot. In my opinion, of course.

    Just for fun I went to LexisNexis and did a search for how many time “World Trade Center” has appeared in the news the past week. The maximum number of results it will display is 125 and that was the number of results I got. Just to try and confirm my theory that the stories are slanted and that a lot of them do not even mention the Muslim aspect of 9/11 I narrowed the search to “World Trade Center” and Muslim. Once again I got the maximum number of results. I still think that the news is slanted but my little unscientific experiment did not support my position.

  6. lindenen says:

    Anyone else feel that maybe these kids have been prepped by their parents? How can they do an article about kids that little and not mention the parents? Come on.

  7. Walter Wallis says:

    The parents are bail bondsmen.
    It is time to develop a laptop that can be slaved to an rfid either implanted or worn by the student, with wireless capability that can up/download assignments and reference materials. No more books, and no more excuses for inadequate, incomplete histories. The rfid is to make the laptops useless to a thief. One might also make recharge of the battery dependent upon some permissive signal from the school computer that would be denied stolen units.
    The difference in efficiency between a 26 year old boiler and a contemporary boiler would pay for the laptops in 3 years with fuel savings.
    God bless this girl and if I last another 25 years I just might vote for her. [Students, why did I say 25 years?]

  8. Mad Scientist says:

    Actually, Walter, it would probably best to wait only 10 so she gets some experience in the political realm.

  9. Walter E. Wallis says:

    She needs to be 35. I would, however, vote for her on the Palo Alto City Council, the Santa Clara County Board of Supervisors or the 9th District Court of Appeals, since her membership on any of those bodies would significantly raise their average I.Q.

  10. Silicon Valley Jim says:

    “At the top of Lily’s list of causes is funding for education”

    Maybe somebody should adopt the cause of teaching Lily some critical thinking so that she can look at the evidence as to whether there’s any reason to think that spending more on public schools results in better education.

  11. lindenen says:

    Yeah, maybe Lily should begin questioning the current allocation of funds.

  12. I admire Lily for what she is trying to do. Yes, present allocation of funds is always an issue, BUT (silicon valley Jim), when inadequate funding causes class sizes to climb to 35-40 kids in a classroom (true in many schools in Oregon right now), then yes, funding is a problem!

  13. Hi, This is Lily Thorpe

    I’ve read what everyone has said. I would like to say a few things about what everyone has written. First, my school doesn’t have computers to go to, and second I read about two hours everyday, mostly at barnes & noble, I think reading is really important, if kids can’t read how are they going to read about candidates and vote when they grow up, there is nobody at the polling booths helping people who can’t read. I have talked about the schools spending their money better than they do. For example I think the schools should treat their money like I treat my allowance. My mom and Dad give me $5.00 a week to spend the way I want, so if there are three things I want to buy but they costs $6.00 all together, I buy only two but first I figure out which two are more important. My parents have taught me that I can’t have everything I want all the time so I have to spend the money I have on the things I want most, the things I think are the most important to me.
    If anyone might be interested, I was filmed for two days by the today show. It will be on T.V. soon.
    I was given last week a certificate from the Colorado Secretary of State for being the youngest filer of a political action committee. I meet a lot of candidates and I talk to them about kid issues and I have asked them to fill out a kids campaign questionnaire and I pass those completed questionnaires out to the public at a table the mall sets up for me so that voters can know how the candidates will help kids if they are elected before they vote.
    I was interviewed by a L.A.Times reporter and he talked to candidates that support the kids campaign. His article he said will be printed this coming Saturday or Sunday.

    People said that a Kids couldn’t make a difference but I think I have.

    Thank you

  14. I’m 10 years old and I think that its really nice what you are doing!You’re helping children all over.So, Thank you!!!

  15. If I’m alive when she runs for Pres. she has my vote!

  16. Dear Lily,

    Speaking as woman, a citizen, a teacher, and a future parent, I’d like to compliment you on your enterprising spirit and obvious hard work. I’m excited about sharing your story with my students in September!

    It takes a rare individual to get up and DO something instead of simply complaining and criticizing. You’re an inspiration not only to other children, but also to countless adults, I’m sure. No doubt, you have a bright and exciting future in front of you! Good luck!

  17. She shouldn’t have to wait til she’s 35 to run for a public office. The limitations of the present and past are not applicable to the future. The hundreds of billions wasted each year on the military industrial pork barrels will soon be a sad part of our un-enlightened past. All will be well.