By Anne Eickstadt

ANNE EICKSTADT Belvidere Republican
Immanuel Lutheran grades 1 through 8 gather around Rep. Adam Kinzinger following his discussion with them.


On Tuesday, April 23, Principal Judy Schaefer welcomed Representative Adam Kinzinger to Immanuel Lutheran School to address the students as to what his job entails and answer their questions.

“How big is a congressional district?” Kinzinger asked as he tried to find out what the students already knew. Their guesses ranged from 100 people to 100,000 people.

“700,000 people,” Kinzinger told them. “My congressional district covers 14 counties.”

The kids were curious as to how Rep. Kinzinger had gotten into politics in the first place.

“When I was in first grade,” he told them, “I saw signs saying ‘John Lewis for mayor.’ He attended our church so I started paying attention. When we moved to Illinois, I ran for a position. People told me, ‘You can’t do that!’ I won so if people tell you that you can’t do something, don’t believe them. Yes, you can. God opens your eyes to what He wants you to do.

“After 9/11, I joined the Air Force. Then I ran for Congress and I won. When people voted for me, it was a huge honor. It made the impossible, possible.

“Some weekends I can stay home, but many times I visit the 14 counties I represent and say hi. I am at the House of Representatives during the week and go home on weekends but I also travel around the world a lot.

“This job is really neat. It’s a lot of work but it is also a lot of fun.

“If you are really drawn to something and you keep going back to it, it might be God talking to you.”

As the students asked more questions, this is what they learned:

What made you decide to do this?

“I believe in what I am doing. I can have a big impact. It felt like the right thing to do. God led me.”

What committees is he on?

Kinzinger is on the Committee on Energy and Commerce, the Subcommittee on Commerce, Manufacturing and Trade, the Subcommittee on Communications and Technology, the Subcommittee on Energy and Power, the Committee on Foreign Affairs, the Subcommittee on the Middle East and North Africa, and the Subcommittee on Terrorism, Nonproliferation, and Trade.

“My favorite place in the world is Curacao, just north of Venezuela. I like dangerous places so I don’t recommend that you go there. I also like the country of Georgia.”

My dream job? I always wanted to do three things – I wanted to join the FBI, fly a plane, and…

For complete article, pick up the May 2 Belvidere Republican.

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