#YRNF is proud to bring you the first elected representative for #MYRM!
Julie Emerson, is a State Representative for District 39 in Louisiana! She was born and raised in Carencro, LA, where she still resides. As a legislator, she has received a 100% lifetime voting record with the Louisiana Association of Business and Industry for supporting job-creation and de-regulation.
Why did you feel the urge to run for office?
I’ve always been more of a fan of action than complaining. There was some frustration about things happening in my state and community. At first, I tried to recruit someone else to run, but those efforts came up fruitless. I was surprised, but I saw it as an open door that I needed to step through. I knew if I got in the race, I would outwork anyone, but I was still pretty surprised with the results on election night.
What is the most important issue facing your community right now?
My area is a bit of a bedroom community for the oil industry in Lafayette. The industry has been struggling for the last few years, and we’ve sadly lost many families to Texas. The state also has a $13 billion backlog for road repairs. It’s especially difficult in rural and suburban areas. I get infrastructure complaints just about every week at my office.
Tell us a fun fact about yourself!
I was born on Leap Day, which means I’ll be 8 next year. Forever young. I’ve also been to every state—I actually drove to almost all of them. (Guess she’ll always be a YR! ~YRNF Team)
Were you involved in Young Republicans prior to being elected?
I was initally involved in College Republicans, and I won my seat for the State Party committee right out of college. I was then involved in Young Republicans on the state and local level as well as heavily involved in the LAGOP. I was able to attend the 2008 Republican National Convention, and I would say that was really the catalyst for my increased political involvement and helped me make the connections that eventually led to my running for office a few years later.
What is your favorite part about being in office?
The very first constituent matter I ever had was a 19 year old young man who needed surgery for early-onset glaucoma. He had a tough home life and had bounced around to different family members. Because of this, Medicaid didn’t have good info on him. I happened to attend church with his eye doctor, who told me he would likely go blind if he didn’t have surgery within 3 days. We jumped on it and had everything solved within 24 hours. That’s the kind of thing that makes a real difference in someone’s life. That’s what public service is all about. (We love to see it! ~YRNF Team)
What advice do you have for a YR who wants to run for office?
You miss 100% of the shots you don’t take! I ran against an incumbent in 2015, and it was pretty risky. Honestly, if I would have known then what I know now, I don’t know if I would have been that bold. We need young people in office. We need that perspective shared with the rest of the community. However, humility goes a long way. You have to be bold, but humble and respectful at the same time.
What does being conservative mean to you?
To me, conservatism is not the opposite of progressivism. Conservatism is a healthy respect for the Constitution and traditions our founders established. Our founders were forward-thinking radicals who wanted a better life grounded in freedom and individual liberty, where you work hard for what you have and help your neighbor when he’s down. They escaped tyranny to establish a nation ruled by the people with government being a “necessary evil.” We’ve somehow managed to allow the idea of more government control to equal progress. That’s regressive and not in line with what our founders had in mind.