Students and the community have an opportunity to learn more about the democratic process from two retired members of the U.S. House of Representatives at the upcoming Congress to Campus event at Indiana University East, April 4-5.
The two congressmen, Representative David Minge, a Democrat from Minnesota, and Representative Steven T. Kuykendall, a Republican from California, will meet with the Student Government Association (SGA) and have classroom visits with students throughout the two-day event.
“The School of Humanities and Social Sciences is proud to sponsor the Congress to Campus event at IU East. It will give students, faculty, staff, and the community the opportunity to interact with former members of Congress in an apolitical environment to better understand the inner workings of the institution,” said Ross Alexander, Dean of the IU East School of Humanities and Social Sciences.
The event will include a reception from 5-6 pm on Monday, April 4, in the Whitewater Hall Lobby. A Town Hall meeting will follow the reception in the Whitewater Hall Community Room. The Town Hall is entitled, “Election 2016: The Changing Nature of Political Campaigns.”
Both the reception and Town Hall will be open to the public and a reservation is requested, but not required, to attend. RSVP online at http://iueastcongresstocampus.eventbrite.com.
Attendees will have the opportunity to ask questions through a moderator. All questions should be sent to the event organizer, Chera LaForge, assistant professor of political science, at firstname.lastname@example.org.
“The event should be an excellent opportunity to interact with former members of Congress who can speak honestly about the challenges and realities of serving in public office. These members volunteer their time to ensure that Americans become active in the process, whether it be running for office, working in public service, or just voting,” said LaForge.
Congressman Minge held office for four terms in the House of Representatives, where he served on the Budget and Agriculture Committees. He also worked to establish the Minnesota River Conservation Reserve Enhancement Program, was a founding member of the Blue Dog Coalition, and helped lead the U.S.-Japan Legislative Exchange.
Prior to holding office, he was an attorney and professor at the University of Wyoming College of Law, and he was on a local school board. When he left office in 2000, he was a judge on the Minnesota Court of Appeals from 2002 to 2012. He has also served as a facilitator for a State-Federal agriculture water quality program, taught on Ag & the Environment at the University of Minnesota Law School, and Constitutional Law at St. Olaf College, as well as holding Fellowships with the Kellogg Foundation and the Woodrow Wilson Center. He was a member on numerous boards for community, conservation, and environmental organizations.
Congressman Kuykendall served one term in Congress, where he helped craft a plan to reduce the national debt while simultaneously providing a tax cut and protecting Social Security. He secured funding to clean up Santa Monica Bay and dredge the Marina del Rey Harbor entrance, and authored a provision in the defense authorization bill allowing active duty military bases to become better stewards of their assets.
Previous to holding national office, he served two tours as a Marine in Vietnam, leaving the service following a permanent injury. He then worked in the finance and mortgage field. He was a councilman and Mayor of Rancho Palos Verdes, and on the boards of various local foundations, commissions, and organizations. In 1994, he was elected to the California State Assembly, where he held position as Republican Whip. He was a member of the Banking and Finance, Labor and Employment, Higher Education, and Utilities and Commerce Committees. He also demanded full accounting of legislative spending, and wrote, or co-wrote two state laws protecting children from abuse and sexual predators.
Since leaving public office, he established a consulting firm, Steven T. Kuykendall & Associates, and is president and CEO of Fisher House Southern California, Inc., a non-profit charity that works to provide housing for family members of veterans and service members receiving care at military and VA medical centers.
The bi-partisan Congress to Campus program seeks to provide an authentic and candid look at the American government and politics, and to shine a light on the democratic process and how Washington works.
For more information about Congress to Campus, contact Chera LaForge, assistant professor of political science, at email@example.com.