Niles teen’s resolution gains House support
By By BEN RAYMOND LODE / Niles Daily Star
NILES -- Landon Miller went to Lansing for a week in June simply to learn more about the work his uncle does with non-profit organizations.
Little did the 15-year-old, Niles home-schooled boy know his trip would eventually result in approval of his own House Resolution.
House Resolution 99, co-sponsored by a majority in the House, designates Aug. 1 through 7, 2003, as Safe Fun Swimming Week in Michigan.
Miller wrote the proposal before the recent drowning incidents on Lake Michigan.
According to state officials, a House Resolution is not a law, but more a recognition of achievements Michigan citizens have made, as well as a tool to focus the attention of the state's citizens on different issues.
One example is House Resolution 31, which supports the effort of Michigan's soldiers in the war in Iraq.
Miller, who lives with his family on Bell Road in Niles Township, got the idea to write the resolution from his uncle while in Lansing.
He said his uncle, who because of his work with non-profit organizations knows the language of writing a resolution, gave him examples of how to structure the initial proposal.
After the resolution was approved, Neil Nitz, a Michigan House of Representatives representative, came to Miller's home to hand over a large blue folder that contained the resolution.
Miller, who takes great interest in government affairs, World War II and American history, as well as world history, said he will now visit local businesses in an effort to have them promote his resolution.
The idea is to make people aware of the dangers associated with swimming, he said.
Derik Bejema is Neil Nitz's legislative assistant in Lansing.
Speaking on behalf of Nitz, Bejema vividly remembers Miller's visit and House Resolution 99.
Bejema said Miller would regularly call and e-mail Nitz's office to find out what was happening with his resolution.
Eventually the legislators put the resolution together without making many changes to what Miller had already written.
Bejema, attempting to put Miller's effort in a context, said many adults suggest resolutions without ever getting them approved.
While visiting Lansing, Miller said he was able to sit in on Senate and House of Representatives meetings, as well as some of the house committees.
He is glad his resolution was supported by so many people.