Live podcast hosted by Janine Turner, Cathy Gillespie, and students: Tova Love Kaplan, Jorne Gilbert and Jewel Gilbert
Topic: Live Podcast: 153 – The House and Senate Today: Is Working Across the Aisle Possible?
When: Tuesday 02/14/2022 at 2:00 pm ET
Join us weekly as we chat with Constitutional experts on hot-topic issues via Zoom! The audience is not on camera but is encouraged to ask questions via the Q&A.
Meet the Guests
Congressman Mike Lawler proudly represents New York’s 17th Congressional District which includes Rockland county, Putnam county and portions of Westchester and Dutchess counties. Prior to serving in the U.S. House of Representatives, Congressman Mike Lawler represented New York’s 97th District in the State Assembly where he served on the Committees on Aging, Banks, Education, Housing, and as the Ranking Member on Governmental Operations.
In the State Assembly, Mike passed more bills than any other member of his conference, a testament to his bipartisan, pragmatic approach to government. In just one term, he was able to successfully pass legislation that included additional funding for law enforcement and first responders, tax relief for middle class families, and historic funding increases for our schools in the Hudson Valley.
Mike has a long history of public service. Prior to being elected to the State Assembly, he served as the Deputy Town Supervisor in Orangetown and was a Senior Advisor to the Westchester County Executive.
Mike also served as Executive Director of the State Republican Party and previously founded his own government affairs and public relations firm. He graduated from Manhattan College with degrees in Accounting and Finance and was Valedictorian of his graduating class.
Mike is a lifelong Hudson Valley resident. He grew up in Rockland County and graduated from Suffern High School. Mike lives in Pearl River with his wife, Doina and their daughter Julianna.
Congresswoman Hillary J. Scholten is honored to serve the people of Michigan’s Third Congressional District, a diverse district that is anchored by the urban centers of Grand Rapids, Muskegon, and Grand Haven, and includes suburbs, farmland, and miles of beautiful Lake Michigan shoreline.
Congresswoman Scholten is a fourth-generation West Michigander, a mom, a Christian, and an attorney who proudly served in the U.S. Department of Justice. Her great-great-grandparents emigrated to the United States to find opportunity in West Michigan. Ever since, her parents, grandparents, and extended family have put down deep roots in this community—committed not only to building a better life for themselves and their families, but devoted to creating a better community for all.
A foundation of faith has motivated Congresswoman Scholten’s career in public service and her desire to continue to serve West Michigan in Congress. Inspired by her mother, a dedicated community servant who spent most of her career as a public school teacher at a high-poverty elementary school, Congresswoman Scholten began her own career as a social worker. She worked with people affected by issues of housing and homelessness. During this time, she worked with individuals in the LGBTQ community who were facing homelessness and housing insecurity—often because of their sexual orientation or gender identity. In the early part of her career, she gained insight and expertise into how systems work and far too often don’t for those on the margins in society.
Congresswoman Scholten obtained her law degree from the University of Maryland Thurgood Marshall School of Law, and then went on to clerk for the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Second Circuit in their special unit focused on immigration issues. Following her clerkship, she joined the Justice Department through the Attorney General Honors Program, where she continued to work on matters of immigration and civil rights.
Congresswoman Scholten now serves as the first woman and mother ever to represent Michigan’s Third District in Congress. Bringing new voices to the table is key to making sure our representation is equitable and reflective of the district. She’s building one of the most diverse teams to ever serve West Michigan, both in Washington, D.C., and at home in the district. Service is at the heart of what drives Congresswoman Scholten’s mission to deliver for the district every single day. She’s focused on providing responsive, effective, down-to-earth, accessible representation that meets the practical needs of the district. This includes securing critical infrastructure investments and eliminating transportation barriers in isolated communities, supporting our small business community, improving K-12 education and higher education, and fighting for West Michiganders’ fundamental rights at the federal level.
West Michigan is Congresswoman Scholten’s home. She and her husband, Jesse, are raising their two boys and the family dog, Smoky, on the southeast side of Grand Rapids. You’ll often find her on the sidelines at her kids’ sporting events, walking Smoky, or in line at the grocery store. At the end of the day, Representative Scholten is committed to rolling up her sleeves and getting to work on the issues that matter to working families across the district, because they matter to her and her family, too—that’s what representation is all about.
Meet the Hosts
Actress Janine Turner is famous for her role as Maggie O’Connell in television’s Northern Exposure. She is the Founder and Co-President of Constituting America which launched in 2010. She is still acting but is also actively teaching kids about the U.S. Constitution and has given over 540 speeches to classrooms across the country.
Cathy Gillespie is the Chair of Constituting America, a former Congressional Chief of Staff and former Commissioner of the White House Fellows Commission. She is currently serving as one of 16 private citizens serving on the U.S. Semiquincentennial Commission, helping organize the celebration of our country’s 250th birthday in 2026!
Tova Love Kaplan is a student at Harvard University. She currently serves as the National Youth Director for Constituting America and runs the National Youth Advisory Council. She is a three-time winner of the “We The Future” Contest and is passionate about educating and empowering young people to use their constitutional rights!
Jorne Gilbert is a recent graduate of Moravian University where he designed a major entitled Dramatic Production and Musical Performance. He used what he learned to further develop the charitable organization Sing For America which he co-founded to produce musicals portraying the art of Truth and Light.
Jewel Gilbert is Executive Producer of Sing for America, a charity founded by him and his family. Sing for America reveals the Art of Truth and Light through live performance. He is the Operations Director for a new business venture, J. Barker Paving. Jewel holds a BA in Musical Performance/Dramatic