Congressman Jerry McNerney (D-Pleasanton) spoke on the floor of the House of Representatives on Wednesday, sharing ideas he heard at a recent forum with local high school students. Titled "Your Voice in Washington," the forum brought together students at San Ramon Valley High School who presented their ideas and opinions on issues of importance to young people.
Topics discussed at the event were chosen by the students and included education and health care policy as well as the federal budget and the hot-button issue of gay marriage. Following the event, Congressman McNerney selected one of the topics – education policy – to speak about on the floor of the House of Representatives, bringing the ideas of our community's young people to the Nation's Capital.
"The "Your Voice in Washington" forum was a great opportunity for me to hear directly from our community's young people," McNerney said. "I heard so many good ideas that choosing just one to speak about on the House floor was difficult. However, a common theme I heard throughout the event was the importance of investing in our schools and that's what I chose to speak about today."
Kate Steffy, a sophomore at San Ramon Valley High and participant in the forum, traveled to Washington, D.C. with her family to watch the speech.
"I was really inspired to hear Rep. McNerney speak on the House floor today," she said. "He listened carefully to what the students said and took our opinions to Washington. I was impressed with what he said about education policy and thrilled to hear San Ramon Valley High School's name on the floor of the House of Representatives."
While on the House floor, McNerney encouraged his colleagues to recognize the importance of improving the nation's schools and discussed " teaching young people not only how to take a test, but also how to apply their skills in real life situations."
"The students also asked that when Congress makes decisions about the federal budget that funding for schools and education should be a top priority," he said. "I urge my colleagues to listen to the thoughts and ideas of the students at San Ramon Valley High School and the young people throughout our country."