It's time again for Take Five, when HOH talks with a member of Congress about topics relatively unrelated to legislative work. This week, Rep. Suzan DelBene, D-Wash., talks about her travels during recess, social media and the great outdoors.
Q. During recess you traveled with other members of Congress. Where did you go?
A. I went to Israel. [House Minority Whip Steny H.] Hoyer organized the trip and we went all over. It was an educational experience; we saw many different areas, from the southern part of the country and up north to the Lebanese border. We heard about the history of these places, which is important as we [head] back to Washington.
Q. What prompted you to want to be a member of Congress? You had several nice job titles before (Microsoft executive, Washington Department of Revenue director).
A. I had great opportunities despite financial struggles that my family went through growing up. I went to college with student loans and work study, and I believe that it’s important for everyone to have that opportunity. Folks are going to keep fighting for the chance for a better future, and I want us to preserve that.
Q. Did you readily embrace social media once in office or did you have a Facebook page before? Do you find that social media connects you more with your constituents?
A. I worked at Microsoft, so I used social media often, and, yes, I also had a Facebook page before taking office. ... Knowing the technology was part of the job. As far as social media connecting me more with constituents, yes, there is definitely a group of folks that communicate regularly via social media; it’s not everyone, but we do have a core group that like to engage with us that way.
Q. You moved several times growing up. Do you remember being fond of any particular places?
A. I lived a lot of places! When I think about it, there were two places in particular I really enjoyed. Washington state, the great state I get to represent, and Colorado. Both have very beautiful mountains.
Q. If you were stranded on a desert island or on a mountain for several days, what are five things you would really want to have with you?
A. Food, shelter and water on the practical side of it. I’m an outdoorsy person, so after the practical things, I need a way to communicate with people; technology may not work on a desert island, but I’d like a means of communication. Finally, if I could have other people with me, I would definitely want my family there.