Flood recovery efforts are underway across the state and federal assistance will soon be on its way. Governor Reynolds requested $1.6 billion in federal disaster aid which President Trump approved almost immediately on an expedited basis. This will help our communities, families, and businesses rebuild after this severe flooding across the Midwest.
I have been very impressed with the response efforts that I have heard about so far. As always, we can count on Iowans to step up and help when their neighbors are in need.
Work continues on advancing priority bills between the chambers in advance of the second funnel on April 5. We have also begun moving budget bills through the process as we set the spending plan for the next fiscal year.
This week, I’d like to introduce you to Victoria Fillipi, who is serving as my page this session. Victoria is an impressive young woman from Northwest Iowa and I have enjoyed the opportunity to get to know her this session. In this week’s newsletter, she shares her experiences paging in the Iowa House and learning more about state government.
My name is Victoria Fillipi, I’m a senior at Lawton-Bronson High School, and I have had the privilege of serving as the Speaker’s Page for the 2019 Legislative Session.
During high school I participated in cross country, golf, dance team, cheer, choir, speech, Fellowship of Christian Athletes, class treasurer, student council, and National Honor Society. Outside of school I was involved in competitive dance at Dianne’s Dance Studio, Iowa State Teen Panel, National Guard Teen Panel, and I was an alter server at St. Joseph’s Catholic Church in Anthon. I also enlisted in the Iowa Air National Guard as a Government Intelligence Analyst, so following graduation, I will be attending Basic Military Training and Government Intelligence School. I plan to attend college at Iowa State University to major in International Relations and minor in Spanish.
The strongest influence in applying for a Page position was my mom, Stephanie Samenus, because she is my biggest supporter. She is a Colonel and the Mission Support Group Commander at the 185th Air National Guard in Sioux City, Iowa. She is currently in Puerto Rico on temporary duty as the NGB/AAT (National Guard Bureau/Advise Assist Team) lead at the 156th airlift wing.
Ever since I was young, I’ve had an interest in politics and the way our government operates and working at the Capitol during the 2019 session has been an incredibly special experience. On the second day of session, I had the honor of sitting next to Iowa’s Governor, Kim Reynolds, during her Condition of the State address. On the fourth day of session, I had the honor of sitting next to The Adjutant General, Major General Tim Orr, during his Condition of the Guard address.
During the day, I find myself completing multiple reoccurring tasks. These tasks include, but are certainly not limited to: writing press releases, sifting through mail, and answering phone calls. The most important duty I have is serving as the Speaker’s aide during debate, running the microphone system, and protecting the Speaker’s gavel.
My favorite memory so far was meeting the President Pro Tempore and Iowa’s Senior Senator, Chuck Grassley. Since Senator Grassley is fourth in line to the Presidency, he requires secret service, so it was really neat to have a member of the secret service guarding the office where I work.
Multiple Representatives made the 2019 session memorable, but specifically Representative Jacob Bossman with all of his help and support.
I wish words could express how grateful I am for this opportunity. Speaker Upmeyer, Representatives, clerks, doorkeepers, and my fellow pages have made this a wonderful experience and I am so grateful for the memories I will cherish long after session ends. I expected to learn a lot about politics and government when beginning my time here, but reflecting back, I have realized I learned more about the importance of service, duty, and the value of relationships.
Knowing that my time as the Speaker’s Page is coming to a close is disappointing, but I can’t wait to apply all that I’ve learned in my future. These past few months of session have been an all-around wonderful experience and I can’t recommend the Page Program enough.
I have truly enjoyed having Victoria by my side over the course of the legislative session. She is a remarkable lady and I am excited to see what challenge she takes on next. I have a very good feeling that she will excel at whatever that may be!
As session continues to move forward, please feel free to reach out and share your thoughts. If I can be of any assistance, you can contact me by email at Linda.Upmeyer@legis.iowa.gov or by phone at (515) 281-3521.