By Becki Steinberg - 07/12/11 11:36 PM EDT
Title: Legislative assistant
Hometown: Anaheim, Calif.
Education: Bachelor of arts in political science, Chapman University
Last job: Field representative, Rep. Loretta Sanchez
Legislative specialty: Healthcare, education, energy, environment, labor, transportation and civil rights.
Favorite bill or law: ACA — Affordable Care Act. It is the highlight of my time on the Hill.
If you could create a new committee or subcommittee, what would it be? The Committee on the Protection of Marginal Communities and Civil Rights.
Most embarrassing moment on Capitol Hill: I ride my bike to work, and one morning, as I was getting to work, I hit the curb and practically went flying. It was pretty embarrassing.
Interests outside of work: Bike riding, volunteering at church, sports events, traveling, and making memories with friends.
For Jessica Fernandez, life in Washington has the same thrill that she got from the rides at Disneyland in her native Anaheim, Calif.
She said the capital city features a particular energy that is a great fit for her “fast-paced personality.”
As one of Rep. Loretta Sanchez’s (D-Calif.) legislative assistants, Fernandez is able to return to California often, where she loves to witness the change that decisions made in Washington can bring to the community.
“Coming out here and being able to go home and work on issues is really interesting,” she said. “I like being able to see the impact of policy. ... That’s the best part.”
Fernandez has particularly loved immersing herself in healthcare issues in Congress, she said. “The more I got involved in it and got to go back to the district to work on it, the more interested I became,” she said.
In fact, Fernandez said she sees herself entering the healthcare field down the road — either by working at the federal level in Washington or at the state level back in California.
But for now, the one-time Sunday school teacher loves the vibrancy of her life in Washington, where she enjoys being an active member of her church and exploring the area’s bike paths with friends.
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