U.S. Rep. Mark Pocan, D-Wis., visited the Associated Students of Madison Legislative Affairs Committee Monday to speak about his role in the federal government and answer questions involving student life.
Pocan, who is a UW-Madison alumnus, is nearing the end of his first term as a member of the United States House of Representatives. He represents Wisconsin’s 2nd District, which includes the city of Madison.
In the House of Representatives, Pocan serves on the Education & the Workforce Committee, which focuses on issues involving job training, various levels of education and the minimum wage. He also serves on the Committee on the Budget.
In Congress, Pocan has worked with issues of student affordability and state funding of public universities after cuts that took place during the recent economic crash. He brought up specifically the idea that states need to reinvest in public universities.
“My opinion is it’s more important the state lives up to their part of the obligation and puts their money back into the system,” Pocan said.
He also spoke to how students can get involved in decision-making processes through campaign resolution, emphasizing the importance of students reaching out to officials about the issues they want to discuss.
“We want to have a good dialogue going,” he said. “That dialogue is really important for us.”
The representative also noted the importance of pursuing issues that are important to people, even if they aren’t specific to education, citing marriage equality and the minimum wage as examples.
Pocan went on to praise ASM’s recent efforts to register voters for the upcoming elections.
The committee also discussed possible campaigns to pursue on campus, such as student loan debt and more secure bike lanes on campus.
Legislative Affairs will hold its next meeting Monday to further discuss campaign resolutions.