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St. Anselm student makes mark in politics

New Hampshire Union Leader

March 06. 2013 10:53PM
St. Anselm student Lyndsay Robinson took part in a summit with members of Congress as part of the The Can Kicks Back program's Three Smart Steps Towards Solvency summit. (DAVID LANE/UNION LEADER)

MANCHESTER ­-- Lyndsay Robinson, a junior at St. Anselm College, already has a long list of activities, including student body president and representative to the National Campus Leadership Council. She can now add Washington lobbyist to the list.

The Tewksbury, Mass., native recently returned from her third trip to the nation's capital in less than a month. She was representing her generation in a political system that she says often turns a deaf ear to the interests of millennials - the children of baby boomers, now between 18 and 35 years old.

She said young men and women face the prospect of dealing with all the hard choices Washington keeps putting off, as politicians kick the can down the road. She joined a fledgling organization founded by millennials last fall to represent their interests in the nation's capital.

The Can Kicks Back has a snazzy website, with a simple slogan - the Debt is too Damn High. The group is affiliated with Fix the Debt, a national organization that has gained widespread attention as it promotes a nonpartisan solution to the nation's fiscal crisis that involves both spending cuts and changes to the tax code.

Robinson was part of a Can Kicks Back contingent that met Feb. 28 in a roundtable discussion on Capitol Hill with a number of House Republicans. Having served an internship in the office of former Massachusetts Sen. Scott Brown while in college, and for U.S. Rep. Niki Tsongas while in high school, Robinson was no stranger to the halls of Congress.

"It was an amazing experience," she said. "(Wisconsin Republican) Paul Ryan sat to my right, and (Illinois Republican) Aaron Schock sat to my left. It was a busy day on The Hill, but I just tried to give my personal perspectives on the debt. I personally urged the politicians I met with to put politics aside, stop pointing fingers and help my generation fulfill our American Dream."

The contingent also met with Democrats and Republicans on the Senate side throughout the day, she said.

Two weeks earlier, she was in Washington to meet with the Chamber of Commerce to talk about bridging the gap between higher education and employability after graduation, another hot topic for millennials and their families. She flew home, attended some classes, and left the following weekend for an American Legion National Conference to accept a scholarship.

She's been interviewed by Fox News and other media outlets about The Can Kicks Back, and is a spokesman for the campaign.

"We just really want the politicians to put their politics aside and reach some conclusions," said Robinson, who was disappointed that the sequester could not be avoided and replaced by more thoughtful cuts. "That (the sequester) is not the best we can do," she said. "If we put politics aside, I know we can come up with a better solution."

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