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A Day In The Life

by Melissa Larsen, May 2015 Issue

Michelle Ugenti

State Representative

Mom to: Bella, 8; Luca, 6; and Noelle, 4.

As a state legislator and the mother of three young children, as you can imagine I rarely have a “typical” day. No two days are ever the same and while raising children and balancing a career in politics can be complicated, I would not have it any other way. Being a mother and a member of the House of Representatives and having the opportunity to help people is something that makes my days ideal.

6:30 am: The alarm goes off, and I start my coffee. I wake up Bella, Luca and Noelle and, while they get ready for school, I make them breakfast.

7:30 am: We are in the car but on before a final backpack check (Luca has a hard time remembering his), headed for their respective schools.

8:45 am: I pull up to my favorite coffee shop, the Village Coffee Roastery, for a meeting with a constituent who is having a problem with their homeowners association.

9:50 am: Arrive at the Capital and have a brief meeting with the policy advisor for the Committee on Elections, which I chair.

10:15 am: I call the Elections Committee to order.

11:30 am: Check in with my assistant before heading out to the capital mall for a lunch with the Arizona Optometric Association.

1:30 pm: The House of Representatives comes to order, and I have the privilege of introducing the doctor of the day, who is from Scottsdale.

2 pm: After introduction of guest is complete, we have nine bills to debate and/or emend, and 15 bills to vote for or against.

3:30 pm: My mom calls to check in on me–yes, both of parents still do that–and I take this opportunity to check in on my kids.

4 pm: I have back-to-back appointments. As a member of the Appropriations Committee, which I have served on during my five years at the legislature, I meet with the governor’s staff to discuss the budget proposal. Then, I meet with another Representative regarding legislation I have to introduced to address an election issue that arose from a situation in Fountain Hills.

5 pm: Leaving the office, but before heading home, I make a quick appearance at the Governor’s Arts Awards hosted by the Arizona Citizens for the Arts.

6:45 pm: Before we start our nighttime routine of homework, dinner, showers and bed, we sit down at the kitchen table and break out the coloring books, crayons and markers. I have become very good at staying within the lines.

8:30 pm: Withe the kids finally asleep, I get to indulge in a little “me” time by flipping through my favorite channels, HGTV, Food Network and PBS (“Antiques Roadshow”).

10 pm: After “Celebrity Apprentice” ends, I take one last look at my e-mail, read the agenda of the third committee I serve on, Ways and Means, and make a final check at my alarm is set, because if I do not, tomorrow will not be an ideal day.