Legislative Aide Interview Featuring Scott Lieber
Name: Scott Lieber
Alma Matter: Syracuse University, Class of 2006
Which representative do you work for, and what is your position in their office? I’m the staff director for State Representative Tom Sannicandro of Ashland, Massachusetts.
What would you encourage students to do that are considering a political career? Thoroughly research issues, don’t rely only on talking points. Be sure of what you believe but also be open-minded, and avoid being ideological. No one side or person has all the answers. Usually people you disagree with fundamentally have a point or two in what they’re saying, so, again, try to be open-minded and work together with people. Compromise is a big part of politics, so try to find “win-win” solutions. Aim to be constructive in your dealings with people who you disagree with; avoid being divisive and alienating. More tangibly, work on campaigns and do anything people ask and try to do it well. Be reliable for campaign managers and others who might be higher up.
What do you think is the most serious issue that the millennial generation will face? Computer sciences literacy. Few high schools (especially in low-income communities) offer computer sciences classes and even fewer for AP credit. Making sure students have opportunities to learn not only basic computer literacy skills but especially programming and coding and other high-level computing skills is critical, I think, to them being the innovators of the next generation. Also, the cost of college.
How can millennials address this? With state and local politicians, millennials can petition for computer science classes and curriculums. Meet face to face with local decision makers. Even if your numbers aren’t that big, simply being there and pushing can make a huge difference. And if you have huge numbers, that helps too.