Mae Stevens, now a legislative assistant for Rep. Russ Carnahan, initially ended up in D.C. in part because George Washington University had a nearby ice rink.
And, Stevens said, “Energy efficiency, and saving taxpayer dollars, is something we can all agree on.”
She said Carnahan works to bring across-the-aisle support to his measures, citing as an example his work with moderate GOP Rep. Judy Biggert (Ill.) as co-chairs on the High-Performance Buildings Congressional Caucus Coalition.
Stevens often finds herself fielding tough and technical questions from her boss, who is “interested in the nitty-gritty details.” Stevens also serves as a source of information on clean energy science and finances for other Hill staffers.
“Staffers rely on each other to help them understand the policy,” said Stevens, who values the camaraderie on the Hill.
Stevens said she loves D.C. because “no matter where you are on the political spectrum, everyone is here to make the world a better place.”
Although a few years have passed since Stevens hung up her skates, sometimes she still feels like she is on ice. For the competitor, skating is only half of the show.
“Even if you fall down, even if you know you just lost the competition, you have to get up, keep going and keep smiling,” she explained.
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Vice President Joe Biden waits to conduct a mock swearing-in ceremony with Sen. Brian Schatz, D-Hawaii, in the Capitol's Old Senate Chamber, December 2, 2014. Schatz was sworn in to serve the remainder of his term since he was appointed to the seat after Sen. Daniel Inouye, D-Hawaii, passed away.