DC WEEK 4
My summer in DC ended on such a great note. In our last week, I was able to meet Senator Sheldon Whitehouse, watch a live airing of Hardball and meet Chris Matthews, hear Cory Booker speak at the Washington Post, and take a tour of the bell towers at the National Cathedral.
Between these events, we advocated for our bills through debates and press conferences. Though our immigration bill was very weak, I still enjoyed debating it and the other bills. Our press conference was, in my opinion, the best part because we got to pick random news sources to ask questions to the other groups. I was a reporter from USA Today and Business Insider.
I have to say the highlights of this week were Cory Booker and Hardball. At the Hardball studio, I was able to meet the Governor of Montana who is running for president. He was so nervous before he went on air and after, demanded that he be able to keep one of the coffee mugs. Chris Matthews is such a character and a great guy. During the commercial breaks he kept on shouting that he had predicted that Congressman Fitzpatrick would be one of the four Republicans to vote yes. He was very proud of this fact. Cory Booker was also fascinating, for I had never really listened to his views or political opinions before. It was such a great experience to be able to see these candidates up close and personal. Also, I had no idea that Cory Booker was huge! Apparently, he was a football player for Stanford. Who knew?
Back to our bill- it was not passed. 36-13 was better than I expected, though! Our bill was pretty weak, but I have to say that it had a better premise than the Gun Reform Bill. Their bill repealed all forms of gun control. It wasn’t a real crowd pleaser.
Having to leave DC and my 50 new friends was bittersweet. I missed home and my dog, but I still wanted to stay at SPS. I cannot describe how much I learned this summer from people from across the globe and across the aisle. I was introduced to so many new perspectives and I learned a lot about my future. I discovered that I do not want a future in partisan politics, but that I have a really keen interest towards intelligence and foreign service. Visiting the USIP and the CSIS while listening to speakers like Puneet Talwar and Raffi Balian really helped me make this decision, and I think it will really narrow down my college search and deciding my major.
Lastly, I think the greatest thing I learned at SPS was the power of access. We were all introduced to such important and credible people during our stay, which was so enlightening. I now know how a bill gets passed in the Senate, how the US has legal ability to represent victims of genocide in Myanmar, and the history of American – Iranian relations with drones. These are things I would never have known before SPS. Along with many others, I will remember them for the rest of my life.
Like I said before, I didn’t want to leave this great experience, but I’m happy to be home and now have the ability to share what I learned with the Altamont community, and hopefully send someone else to DC next summer!
This blog is the collective voice of every person involved in the Global Initiative. Just as the globe hosts billions of disparate voices, we hope this space will embody and embrace the same diversity.