Still a Moose?

June 6

Two years ago I wrote about a moose who wandered onto the Capitol grounds. It received local news coverage and I compared myself to the moose in three ways.

First, like the moose, I spent plenty of time at the Capitol during the 2017 legislative session.

Second, the moose was new to the Capitol grounds, as I was also new to the Capitol during the 2017 legislative session. Finally, the moose and I were both searching.  The moose may have been searching for new grazing opportunities at the Capitol.  I, on the other hand, was and continue to always be searching for new opportunities and approaches to make a difference in the legislature for our shared beliefs.

One of the “benefits” I reaped from that weekly email was the nickname “moose” from friends and coworkers. I’m actually quite fine with that. A moose is an animal that nicely represents our state. It’s a creature who is not easily swayed and is a stately animal. But now two years later—am I still a moose?

A lot of things have changed since the 2017 legislative session. During this year’s session I was able to testify dozens more times on family issues. Family Policy Alliance of North Dakota® received much more TV, radio, and written media coverage on key issues, and we have now become the “go-to” organization for many media outlets when it comes to these topics. You, our ministry partners, responded in even greater numbers to our calls to action and made a huge difference on critical votes, especially on pro-life bills. Finally, we won 70% of the bills on which we engaged this session!

It was truly by God’s grace that all this happened. However, it still meant that there were times when things were absolutely crazy – quickly preparing testimony, running from room to room testifying, trying to talk to a huge number of legislators before a key vote, etc. The funny thing is, I loved it, knowing I was doing all I could to represent your biblical values in the halls of the Capitol. We are already strategizing for the 2020 November elections and the 2021 legislative session and it’s exciting.

So, am I still a moose? I suppose I am, but a changed moose. Perhaps this session I was the equivalent of a caffeinated and more strategic moose. I’m not sure precisely what that looks like, but I’m ok with it. The important thing is that I’m your moose on pro-family and pro-life values, and I won’t be swayed from representing these during legislative sessions and year-round. Besides, I don’t want a new nickname – I don’t see how anyone could top “moose”.


Mark Jorritsma
President and Executive Director