A great week in the First State
In the first few weeks of this year, the number of calls, emails and drop-ins to my offices in Delaware and Washington, D.C. increased five-fold from this time last year, and I appreciate every one of them.
The groundswell of civic engagement and activism across the First State is unlike anything I’ve witnessed before. My team has had all hands on deck to answer every phone call and respond to every email and letter. It is truly an important time for citizens to participate in our democracy, and I hope I continue to hear from you about the issues that matter to you, your family and our communities. Along with keeping in touch, I encourage everyone to follow me on Twitter and Instagram @SenatorCarper and on Facebook at facebook.com/SenatorCarper so you can stay up to speed on what I’m working on each day.
This week, Congress took its first recess of the New Year, which means I was able to spend time doing one of my favorite things – traveling up and down the First State and talking with my constituents.
On Tuesday, I spent the day in New Castle County. In the afternoon I made a “customer call” to Trellist Marketing, a veteran-owned business that helps its clients in Delaware and around the world use technology effectively to market their goods and services. Whenever I make a “customer call” to a business in Delaware, I always ask the same questions: How are you doing? How are we in Congress doing? What can we do better? How can we help? I always appreciate the candid answers I get from business owners and employees on what they need most from Congress and from me as their voice in Washington.
On Wednesday, I spent the day in Sussex County where I began my morning at “1 Million Cups,” a weekly educational program at Del Tech designed to support local startups. Each week, entrepreneurs give presentations to talk about their companies’ highlights, challenges and successes. Then the audience, which is made up of fellow entrepreneurs, advisors, students, and officials from Delaware’s Small Business Development Center, our Economic Development Office and the U.S. Small Business Administration, engages in a discussion where everyone may offer feedback and suggestions to help one another’s businesses continue to grow. It was great to see such collaborative, supportive efforts for these young businesses in Sussex County. The First State has some truly incredible talent and I was impressed not only by the presenters I saw, but by the earnest advice and guidance offered by those in the audience.
After a full day in Sussex County, I traveled to Del Tech’s Dover campus to host one of my favorite events of the year, our annual Service Academy Night. This year, we brought together more than 250 students, parents, teachers and advisors to learn more about the process of applying to one of our nation’s service academies. As a former naval flight officer, I love seeing our men and women in uniform and talking with students interested in attending a service academy. Our service academies provide world-class educations and produce the leaders of our future. I have no doubt that many of the young men and women I met Wednesday night will go on to serve our country and make all of us in the First State very proud.
Next week, Congress is back in session. I’ll be back on my morning Amtrak rides to Washington, D.C., each day, but I hope I continue to hear from you.