PELHAM — When 10-year-old Kristyn Demers visited the Statehouse with her class last year, she didn't realize her idea would receive so much attention.
Now, that idea — making purple the state color — will go before the New Hampshire Legislature.
"I thought if I combined the purple finch and purple lilac, I could make purple the New Hampshire color," the Pelham girl said. "I told my teacher and she said to write a note to the governor and give it to him when we see him, so I did."
The finch and lilac are New Hampshire's state bird and flower, which Kristyn learned in class at Presentation of Mary Academy in Hudson. When she handed the note to Gov. John Lynch during her field trip, he told her to contact her local legislator to file a bill.
Kristyn's mother, Donna Demers, helped her get in touch with Rep. Shaun Doherty, R-Pelham.
"Shaun Doherty used to be a former student of mine," said Demers, who taught him in kindergarten. "I was able to contact him. Besides that, that's all I've really done. She's more or less done this whole idea on her own just because of what her teacher taught her last year. I am very proud of her."
Doherty said he met with Kristyn and her mother over the summer to work on the legislation and the fifth-grader has been wonderful.
"I thought it was great to see a young person who wanted to get involved in the legislative process," he said. "That was the best part of it. I filed the bill and we will be taking it up probably in January or February. We don't have a hearing date yet, but she had said she would come up and speak at the hearing on the bill."
Doherty said other kids have succeeded in having bills passed.
"Last term, we had an official state beverage, apple cider, and the official state dog, the Chinook," he said. "Both bills were started by fourth-grade students who took the tour of the Statehouse and were inspired by that," he said.
Doherty said Kristyn's decision to choose purple had nothing to do with New Hampshire's recent switch between a Democratic- and Republican-controlled state, blue and red, making the state politically purple.
"Politics wasn't part of the origin of it," he said. "But it certainly is a bit ironic that New Hampshire could somewhat be called purple because of the elections going between blue and red."
Her mother said the whole family will be there to support her when she testifies.
"I'm excited to talk about it because it gives me a chance to get people to like purple," Kristyn said. "But purple isn't my favorite color, pink is."
Kristyn has received a lot of recognition for her bill, but she's not letting all the attention go to her head.
"I think it's pretty cool and all my friends are (saying), 'I know somebody who's famous,'" she said. "It's not really a big deal."
Kristyn said she's enjoyed working on the bill, but doesn't think she will be a politician when she grows up.
"I thought it was pretty cool, but I want to be my dad's secretary. He's a lawyer," Kristyn said.
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