The Common Good hosted a breakfast discussion with seventh term Congresswoman Shelley Berkley of Nevada’s First Congressional District. The Congresswoman spoke passionately about hot button issues facing our country today. The discussion was preempted by Congresswoman Berkley who spoke eloquently about her life with a brief but important depiction of her childhood in a family whose financial woes forced them to move from her home in New York to her current home, and district, of Las Vegas.
Throughout the conversation the Congresswoman spoke about her hopes to make changes that will provide opportunities for future generations of Americans. She conveyed understanding that people are struggling today and stated “If our civilians aren’t feeling relief from Washington, we are not doing our job right, and that is my greatest concern.” The Congresswoman touched on the struggles of many different groups including the elderly, the unemployed, and war veterans. She also discussed the need for support programs that provide the support these people need.
Next the Congresswoman highlighted education as an important issue. She stated “as a nation, we need to be progressive. We must move ourselves forward. We can do this by focusing on education reform.” By making changes in education the Congresswoman feels that we are building a foundation for the future of our country. In the same manner the Congresswoman conveyed the importance of renewable energy not only for the environment but also to create foundations for new job markets. “The Hoover dam was built during the depression and now it generates power for millions. We need to invest in ourselves” specified the Congresswomen.
The discussion concluded with Congresswoman Berkley touching on her decision to leave her current position as a member of the House and run for a Senatorial position. She described a situation in which one of her colleagues rattled off incorrect facts on the House floor in regards to Planned Parenthood. When later questioned his office replied that the comments he made were not meant to be factual. This incident inspired the Congresswoman to do more. In her words “Something is going on here that is not savory. It is not democratic. It is not American.” To her these injustices have given her a goal. The Congresswoman mentioned that she is not confident that she will win the election but she is willing to try in hopes that she will have a chance to make the changes she finds necessary.