Written by: Alexa Misal
On April 26, 2019 the freshmen class at Juniata got to hear PA’s youngest state representative, John Hershey speak. They were able to hear all the things he does in just one day, whether it is discussing things in committees or debating bills on the floor. “Sometimes we are voting on important things like naming highways other times we name salamanders,” said John. He also brought up some topics that he believes should be changed in the future. “I don’t think we should have to run every 2 years, and I wish we could move away from the seniority system.” Representative Hershey's perspective on things is nothing but positive when it comes to our community. “I just want to give back to the community that essentially shaped me.” He explained that he likes to get involved in the community by going to events, taking calls and just talking to people because getting to know everyone and their ideas is important to him.“I attend events so people get to know the person, the ideas and the things behind all the politics.”
I had the opportunity to talk to Representative Hershey afterwards. He was very gracious and willingly answered some questions that I had. I asked him if the previous state representative, Adam Harris, had any advice to give to him before leaving office. He answered, “He was very helpful with giving names of influential people and other resources that come in handy.” Everybody has fears when it comes to starting something new, so I asked him if he had any concerns as he was going into office. “I was really worried about making everyone happy all the time. I try not to make more than 50% of the people mad, but it can be hard sometimes, so that worried me.” Another question that came up was if he was looking forward to anything in particular in the near future and he said, “I’m definitely looking forward to getting to know more members of the community and to be able to listen to their concerns.” Since Mr. Hershey went to school here at Juniata I thought it would be cool to see what his favorite memory was from when he was in school. “Being on the tennis team and Mrs. Storey’s speech class skits. I had actually written a play and it wasn’t picked but a section was put into someone else’s, so that was kind of cool. Also I loved FFA!”, he replied enthusiastically.
John Hershey is a great role model because he genuinely cares about the people and their jobs. Having John Hershey come in and speak was a good opportunity for the freshmen to learn more about the legislative branch and our state representative.