Posted by Ellen Krafve - email
He's just a boy and may be Texas' youngest lobbyist. He's fighting Austin lawmakers to change the name of the state dinosaur. Yes, they have a state dinosaur!
"Absolutely no pressure OK? You just be yourself," said the boys father.
It was last minute advice given before one young expert spoke on an issue much older and larger than he is.
"The size of the dinosaur should not be the criteria for the nomination," said the boy.
And, proven further that age should not be the criteria for an expert, 10-year-old Shaswath Murthy began his quest to change the name of the state dinosaur years ago.
"I didn't believe him," said Murthy's father. "I said, 'You know son, you are only six. You can't prove several others to be wrong.'"
He told lawmakers that his research shows the current state dinosaur isn't unique to Texas. He kept asking to be heard.
"I'm contending that Technosaurus has better credentials than Plauxusasaurus," said Murthy.
"Each time, he would get a letter back he would follow up with counter argument and after five years it has seen the light of day," explained his father.
And marveled lawmakers have seen a fifth grader whose expertise has impacted state law and learned they may not be smarter than this fifth grader.
"Would you promise never to testify against one of my bills," laughed one lawmaker.
No promises. He's got more in the works, but he's a good sport.
"If it doesn't go through...I'd still be happy," said the 10-year-old. "The whole experience was great."
No one could be happier than his father who can't believe his son made it so far.
"It's incredible," said his father. "If you want to say that everybody has a voice, this is the living proof."
It's a motto his son took to the state capitol.
"Everybody, no matter what the age, should have some kind of voice," said Murthy.
And lawmakers are happy to have heard this one.
"Very insightful testimony, thank you very much, thank you," legislators said to the boy.