Former congressmen visit with freshmen

By Mia Dexter

Former Congressmen Berkley Bedell and Tom Ewing came to Cedar Falls this Monday to talk to freshmen about being involved in politics and what it’s like to be a congressman. Berkley, 95, and a Democrat, served as a congressman of Northwest Iowa’s 6th Congressional District for 12 years.

After retirement, he founded the Foundation for Alternative and Integrative Medicine, which is searching the world for effective, low-cost alternative healthcare.

Ewing, who is 81 and a Republican, served in the Illinois House where he was a member of the agriculture committee.

The aim of this event was to engage students and inspire them to participate in democracy, whether it’s public service or something as simple a voting. It gave the students an inside look at the workings of the American government and politics.

These men’s personal experiences define what it’s like to be a politician and what it takes to get there.

“In politics, what matters isn’t what political party you are, but how our government works,” Berkley said. He really knew how to work the crowd.

Ewing said, “The job can be very rewarding but hard work. We need people like you to get interested in politics. It’s up to your generation to continue this public service.”

The students definitely enjoyed the experience, taking selfies and group pictures with them afterwards.

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