Congressman visits DVMS

Lead photo_DeSaulnier-DVMS for websiteU.S. Congressman Mark DeSaulnier recently spent an hour with DVMS students discussing the Constitution and answering questions on the federal government and politics. A welcoming committee greeted the Congressman as he arrived. From left, Tanner Keys, Natalie Martinez, Camila Balmaceda, DeSaulnier, Laine Moraes, Hugh Conrad and Logan Gonzales. (Photo by Tamara Steiner)

Today Congressman Mark DeSaulnier visited my school — Diablo View Middle School in Clayton. The event was hosted by my school’s California Junior Scholarship Federation. As the president of CJSF, I felt it was a big honor that he accepted our school’s invitation.

We made signs and banners and brought cookies and brownies for everyone. We even had a welcoming committee meet the Congressman when he arrived.

Everyone around me was a little nervous to meet such an important person, but when he walked into the room smiling, that anxious energy dissipated, and I started smiling too.

Congressman DeSaulnier talked about his job, his life, and the history of our government. He talked about what it is like to be a member of the House of Representatives and shared his concerns with us about the rivalry between political parties in this country.

Politics is a complicated subject, and today I learned that sometimes both sides of a debate are right, and sometimes they both can be wrong.

Mr. Desaulnier said that the government isn’t perfect and that ideals change. He knows this personally because he switched political parties. He was once a Republican, now he is a Democrat. He believes that Americans should vote for the person — not the political party.

My peers asked a lot of questions. and he answered them all very clearly. He explained things that had never been explained to me. He answered questions about immigration, national debt, voting, the Constitution. One of my peers asked about the recent government shutdown, and another student asked about the DACA program and what exactly that was.

I learned so much, but the main thing I took away from the experience is that it is my job and my right to question the ideas left by the people before me because maybe their methods aren’t the best way. There is always room for improvement, and my generation will have to not just cope with the problems presented to us, we need to try and solve them.

So, on behalf of my peers and myself, thank you Congressman DeSaulnier. You gave us something just as important as knowledge. You gave us inspiration.

Kasey Montgomery is an 8th grader at DVMS and president of CJSF.