A Message From Lisa
Welcome to the student connection - a resource center for students and teachers! I commend each of you for taking the initiative to visit this site and learn about the issues facing our nation. Our country's democratic process is fascinating, and I encourage each of you to take an active interest both locally and nationally. No matter how old, your ideas and involvement have an impact on the future of our country. I hope you find the links I have provided useful, and that they inspire you to learn more about our government.
I have also provided answers below to the most common questions kids ask about my job as a Senator. If you have additional questions, I encourage you to send me an e-mail.
Life in the United States Senate is very busy. As a member of four Senate committees, I attend hearings almost every day; the time I spend at each one varies greatly based on the nature of the Committee, subject matter being addressed, number of witnesses testifying, and impact of the subject on Alaska. During much of the year, when I am not in a hearing, I hold constituent meetings nearly every half hour. Votes are most often called with only one to a few hours notice, so I must spend time studying each bill and discussing it with my staff before the vote. On bills that are of particular importance, especially to Alaska, I must go down to the Senate floor to debate or give a statement. On the weekends, I fly back to Alaska to meet with Alaskans who cannot come to my office in Washington, D.C. to share their concerns with me.
I have a senate office in Washington, D.C. and six offices across Alaska: in Anchorage, Fairbanks, Juneau, Kenai, Ketchikan and Mat-Su.
When the Senate is in session, I spend the weekdays in Washington and often come home to Alaska on the weekends. When the Senate is not in session, I often spend my time in Alaska meeting with people from around the state.
In my opinion, one of the most notable presidents of the United States was Abraham Lincoln. His ability to keep the country together through the national crisis of the Civil War demonstrated Lincoln's patriotic integrity as well as his great strength as a leader. Emancipating the slaves, assisting the South in addressing its economic instability after the war and recognizing the importance of preserving the Union at all costs, are among the accomplishments of this great president.
I have long supported environmentally responsible oil exploration in the Coastal Plain of ANWR. Opening ANWR would create thousands of jobs for Alaskan families, generate millions in revenue for the State of Alaska to use for schools and health care, and it would continue Alaska's legacy of providing secure and reliable crude oil for America.
I, as well as the many advocates for opening ANWR, have proposed opening the Refuge to limited development utilizing a small area of 2000 acres- about the size of the National Mall in Washington, D.C. Included in this proposal are strict environmental safeguards to ensure that the Coastal Plain is protected. All exploration would take place in the winter so that ice roads can be constructed to ensure that the delicate tundra is shielded from the impacts of drilling-related activities. Alaska has a history of being a good steward of the land, and that stewardship will continue with the opening of ANWR. One of Alaska's greatest attributes is its environment. Protecting the land in Alaska can be achieved while development takes place. That development is the foundation of Alaska's resource-based economy.
In order to pursue a political career, I recommend choosing a course of study that you find both rewarding and enjoyable. A major in Political Science is not necessary for a political career; people involved in politics come from a variety of backgrounds. It is often diverse life experiences that are most helpful in politics. The more a person has participated in different groups – from business to service to clubs – the more a person is able to identify with a wider range of people, and therefore represent them in office more accurately.
If you are interested in working in a political office (or any other sort of office) it is often helpful to work as an intern. Being an intern would give you a valuable perspective as to what kind of place of work you are looking for. I myself offer positions to graduating high school seniors who are interested in working in my office in either June or July. You can find more information about my program by visiting the Internship link under Student Connection.
Having grown up in Alaska, I always look forward to eating Alaskan Salmon. I also enjoy eating ice cream.
U.S. Senators are elected by the people living in their states. Usually, there are at least two candidates who run for the Senate. The candidate who gets a majority of the votes wins.
There are 100 U.S. Senators in the Congress. Each of the 50 states is represented by two Senators.
The U.S. Congress is made up of two "houses" - the U.S. Senate and the U.S. House of Representatives. There are 100 members of the Senate and 435 members of the House. Each state gets two Senators, regardless of how many people live in that state. The number of Representatives each state gets, however, is based on the number of people that live in the state. Senators serve for six-year terms. Representatives serve for two-year terms.
In the simplest terms, a bill becomes a law after it passes the Senate and the House and the President signs it.