On October 5th, a Missouri Chapter of Next Generation Politics held a forum with Missouri Senator, Ryan Silvey. Senator Silvey is the senator of Missouri’s 17th district, and he, among other positions, is Vice-Chairman on the Committee for Governmental Accountability and Fiscal Oversight; he is also a member of the Progress and Development, Veterans’ Affairs and Health and Appropriations Committees. At this forum, members of Missouri NGP had the opportunity to ask Senator Silvey their questions. Here are some major takeaways from the night:

Senator Silvey makes a true effort to practice bipartisanship in the Missouri Senate. One piece

of recent legislation discussed – alongside Senator Silvey’s stance on it – included the following: during Missouri’s last senate session, Senator Silvey voted no on a bill that would require the people of Missouri to have a passport when flying domestically. On the aforementioned bill, Senator Silvey did, in fact, vote against party lines.

During this forum, one particular question asked of Senator Silvey that stood out was, “when it comes to making an effort to maintain an element of bipartisanship, what are your recommendations in dealing with an opinion that you don’t agree with?”  Senator Silvey’s response reaffirmed the strong message of bipartisanship he continued to reiterate throughout the night: “keep an open mind. Don’t think of it as someone disagreeing with you because they’re ‘evil’, think of it as an educational opportunity. Being exposed to both sides is essential when it comes to political topics because it allows for a better understanding along with affirmation in your own opinions.” Members of Missouri NGP in attendance responded well to this piece of advice and indicated that they hope to practice it when discussing pressing issues or particular pieces of legislation with their peers.

Other topics discussed discussed or elaborated upon during the meeting included bipartisanship, Senator Silvey’s path to politics, and other pieces of legislation that have been or will be discussed in the Missouri Senate. Following the forum, members of Missouri NGP held a new perspective on the way in which their state government functions along with a valuable connection made with their very own State Senator.