Former Congressional Representatives Mark Critz (D – PA) and Melissa Hart (R – PA) will discuss the state of current American politics and the legislative process on Monday, Feb. 26 at 7 p.m. in the Vandervort Room. Titled “What’s Going on with Congress,” HWS Votes members and event organizers Rotimi Adeoye ’18 and Divya Tewari ’20 will join the panel discussion. HWS Vice President and General Counsel Louis H. Guard ’07, who is an Ontario County Supervisor, will serve as moderator.
“We hope by bringing Rep. Critz and Rep. Hart to campus, we will continue the conversations HWS Votes has started about politics and campus activism,” says Adeoye, president of the student non-partisan group. “Creating a dialogue and making sure that people from different sides can talk about different issues even though they disagree is extremely important in today’s political environment.”
Critz represented Pennsylvania’s 12th congressional district from 2010 to 2013. Prior to his election, he worked for more than a decade as a staffer for the late Rep. John P. Murtha, as his director of economic development and as a district director. In Congress, Critz was a member of the House Armed Services Committee. Now the executive director of Pennsylvania’s Rural Development Council, Critz advises the Secretary of Agriculture and Gov. Tom Wolf on issues relating to rural life and development. Critz is also an adjunct professor of history and political science at St. Francis University, as well as a government consultant.
Hart represented Pennsylvania’s fourth congressional district from 2001 to 2007, serving on numerous committees, including the Financial Services and Judiciary Committees. Beginning her political career in the Pennsylvania State Senate, Hart was the first Republican woman to represent Pennsylvania at the federal level. She is now an attorney and consultant specializing in strategic communications, as well as the director of Enterprise Financial Services Group. Following her departure from Congress, Hart served as a principal at the investment banking firm Renaissance Partners in Pittsburgh.
Earlier in the day, HWS Votes and the Office of Community Engagement and Service Learning will host a lunch discussion at 12:45 p.m. in the Vandervort Room, where students will discuss issues with Critz and Hart. The event is part of the Congress to Campus series that includes film screenings at the Smith Opera House including Selma at 6 p.m. on Sunday, Feb.25 and Election Day at 7 p.m. on Tuesday, Feb. 27.