Jackson Voss (MPP '18) was selected to serve as the 2018 Margaret Ann (Ranny) Riecker Michigan Delegation Fellow in the Washington, DC office of U.S. Senator Gary Peters (D-MI), ranking member of the Senate Subcommittee on Federal Spending Oversight and Emergency Management.
Earlier this semester, we checked in with Jackson about his time in DC.
What are you doing as Riecker Fellow?
JV: In my opinion, it is an important time to be able to work here in the United States Senate. I think that for a lot of folks, there is some trepidation about working in Washington right now, and particularly in Congress. But I think that all the things that turn people off to politics and the federal government right now are also the reasons the work this office does in federal oversight is so important.
As a part of the Subcommittee staff, I'll be helping find ways to save taxpayer money; look at potential conflicts of interest; examine regulations that make it more difficult for the government to use or stop using federally owned properties; and provide oversight of spending on emergency management and recovery from natural disasters. Never having had the opportunity to work on the Hill before, I’m really thankful that this fellowship and the Ford School have made it possible for me to be here, and I hope that I’ll be able to assist Senator Peters and his staff on these issues.
Any memorable experiences so far?
JV: Part of the reason this fellowship is such a great opportunity is that, while you can hear about these things happening from just about anywhere, there is something special about being in such close proximity to where decisions are being made. I look forward to learning about the process along the way and helping build a case for Senator Peters’ position on any given issue. And, the Subcommittee will be playing a role in trying to ensure accountability at a time when people have less trust in government than ever before – I think that makes the work I’ll be doing here all the more important.
The Riecker Michigan Delegation Fellowship, a permanently endowed fellowship at the Gerald R. Ford School of Public Policy, was established in 2015 through an estate gift from Margaret Ann “Ranny” Riecker, a longtime friend and generous benefactor of the Ford School. A supplemental gift from the Harry A. and Margaret D. Towsley Foundation will allow the Ford School to extend the opportunity to additional fellows in the years ahead.