Rep. Madeleine Dean of Pennsylvania rounds out this week's installment of Meet Your New Members of Congress.
The newly minted congresswoman and Keystone State native represents the redrawn 4th District in southeast Pennsylvania. She shared her take on what will happen next with the government shutdown, and shared the song that makes her truly happy.
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Lauren Dezenski: In four words, describe what you felt while being sworn in.
Madeleine Dean: Thrilled, hopeful, mindful and determined.
LD: What's your top priority in your first term?
MD: There are so many issues that require our attention. Here are two that have something in common:
First, we need to restore decency and good governance to public service.
And second, an issue close to my heart is gun violence. Imagine: In 2017, guns killed nearly 40,000 Americans -- the third year in a row that gun deaths increased in our country. We know how to save lives, and now we have to do it.
Ultimately, our approach to governing and our choices on policy issues aren't separate -- they're both rooted in a recognition of our common humanity.
LD: What's your expectation on what will happen with the current partial government shutdown?
MD: My expectation is that we do our job. The House just passed bipartisan legislation to reopen the government, and Republican senators are expressing frustration with the President's intransigence. The American people sent us here to ensure that their government functions well and delivers the services they need. They want leaders who focus on solving problems, and that's what I plan to do.
LD: What was your biggest lesson from your campaign?
MD: America is a big-hearted place. I knew that already, of course, but it was so clear throughout the campaign. People in my district -- and across the county -- are eager to take our politics in a more decent and compassionate direction.
LD: Do you have a favorite pump-up song?
MD: "Happy" by Pharrell Williams. You can't help smiling when you hear it.
LD: Tell me about your favorite food from your district.
MD: The Glenside Pub in my hometown, Glenside, PA. It's a great local spot: good food, friendly people -- Glenside's very own Cheers.
Thank you to Point reader Fatima Alsammak for suggesting that we talk to Rep. Dean! Is there a new face we should talk to from your district? Email firstname.lastname@example.org with your suggestions!