Florida Students Meet Rep. Jolly

Florida Students Meet Rep. Jolly

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James Liska
July 07, 2014

On Thursday, June 19th, students from Florida traveled to the Rayburn House Office Building on Capitol Hill to meet their hometown Member of Congress, Rep. David Jolly. Rep. Jolly, the newest Member of Congress, represents Florida's 13th district, which encompasses St. Petersburg and most of Pinellas County. Rep. Jolly, a former House staff member and lobbyist, was elected to the House in a special election to replace his former boss, 22-term Rep. C.W. Bill Young, who died in office on October 18, 2013. Rep. Jolly serves on the House Transportation and Infrastructure Committee as well as the Veterans' Affairs Committee.


The students discussed various issues, most notable the current problems with the VA healthcare system. Congressman Jolly's posting on the Veterans' Affairs Committee made him well-versed on the issues, and he was able to discuss with the students at length about the care that veterans in the 13th district receive as well as the steps Rep. Jolly is taking to help his constituents with veterans' issues.


When asked about the meeting, student Jessica Sullivan said "Congressman Jolly was welcoming and gracious, making the Florida orange juice his intern gave us that much sweeter. First he asked us about ourselves, and listened intently, which was much appreciated. Then he asked us what he could do for us. I immediately inquired about his positioning on the Veteran's Affairs issue. I asked for details about his engagements with veterans from our district in Florida. He had already visited them that week and listened to their concerns, and has a plan to address them. His responses exhibited his knowledge on the subject and his passion for honoring our veterans. I was very pleased with the conversation and the surreal view of the Capitol from his window. What a fantastic engagement!"


This visit was another way to understand the role of citizen advocacy and to demonstrate how one-on-one and small group conversations with elected representatives can affect public policy changes at the highest level. Students who participated in this visit are:


Public Policy Dialogues (PPD), sponsored by the Verizon Foundation, provides students with the unique opportunity to meet and interact with members of the Senate or House of Representatives representing their state or congressional district. This is one component of The Washington Center's internship program.


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