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High School Student Meets with Speaker of the House, Paul Ryan, and Shares her Experience

This past week, I had the incredible opportunity to participate in a small breakfast in Miami with Speaker of the House, Paul Ryan. It was not a long event, but he had a session for questions and answers and he covered several different topics including Israel, gun control, immigration, and his relationship with President Donald Trump.

He first addressed Israel and the USA's decision to recognize Jerusalem and move the embassy from Tel Aviv to Jerusalem. He said that this is something that should have been done long ago and was proud to be part of this decision and couldn’t agree more with the President’s decision.

He then let us ask questions and I was allowed to speak first. It was just a few days after the Douglas shooting in Parkland and I wanted to know what Congress was planning to do to keep students, like me, safe in school. He responded by talking about the responsibility of local law enforcement and local FBI representatives to keep our schools safe. He does believe there has to be better background checks because if a boy who was flagged 39 times by the FBI was still able to buy a gun, something must be wrong with the system. He elaborated about a specific database that registers all guns and needs to be enforced to have control of legal weapons and their owners. He also spoke about security measures for schools, mental health programs for students, and the government's dedication to this very important issue.

Someone then asked him about his relationship with the President because he didn’t endorse him as a candidate and didn’t stand with President Donald Trump for a while. He told us that he actually had never met the President before the election and only knew what he saw or heard on TV. He believes that people who are private citizens can act differently than an elected official and he wanted to give him a chance. He believes that "moral relativism has undermined our society and is a fundamental issue". Once they met, after he was elected, they spoke about all the issues affecting our country and he realized that when it came to the future of America they actually agreed on more issues than he thought. There is unified government and he saw a chance to make a difference for our country and that was an opportunity for the American people. He said they were able to reach a “mutual understanding for each other...Merge forces and take the opportunity which comes once in a century”. Ryan has been close to VP Pence for many years and that reassured him that he would be able to work with this administration.

When it came to immigration, he spoke about our borders, safety for Americans, and trying to find a solution for the DACA community and work on not having to deal with the same issues in 10-20 years from now. He believes we need to find a way to help the illegal immigrants who are law abiding citizens and live here already, but make it harder for us to end up dealing with the same issues in the future.

It was such an incredible experience being able to meet with the Speaker of the House. He was very personable and willing to listen. I believe that leaders always have issues that make them controversial, but it's important to meet with our elected officials and let them know what we the American people expect of them.

Danelle Levi
High School Student

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