‘A-ha’ moments

Published 9:23 am Wednesday, January 22, 2014

Rep. Martha Roby spoke with constituents at the Banks Buy Rite on Tuesday.

Rep. Martha Roby spoke with constituents at the Banks Buy Rite on Tuesday.

Roby encourages students to seek life-changing opportunities

U.S. Rep. Martha Roby, R-Ala., encouraged the students at the Business and Finance Academy at Pike County High School Tuesday to be in tune to their “ah-ha” moments.

Roby told the students that personal “ah-ha” moments propelled her into the Montgomery City Council race and then into the race for the U.S. Representative District 2 seat.

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The first occurred when Roby was watching television and heard there would be a vacancy on the Montgomery City Council.

“It was one of those ‘ah-ha’ moments,” she said. “I just knew that I was supposed to run for that position. I ran, and I was not supposed to win, but I did.”

Neither was Roby supposed to win her bid for the District 2 seat in the U.S. Congress.

“Nobody thought that I could win but me and my husband – sometimes,” she said, laughing. “But I was determined that I was not going to let anybody outwork me.”

Roby challenged the students to be open to any “ah-ha” moments that might come their way.

“Keep your eyes open for those opportunities,” she said. “They might not be opportunities that are in your plan. But those ‘ah-ha’ opportunities were not in my plan. My plan was to be in the music industry in Nashville, not in the United State Congress and I would not be if I had not given those opportunities a second glance. When you get a gut feeling, don’t dismiss it.”

Roby told the students that, when she assumed office in January 2011, she and Terri Sewell were the first women elected to Congress from Alabama in regular elections.

“That was hard to believe that in 2011 we were the first two women,” Roby said. “There were a lot of fresh faces in Congress that year, more than 100, and they represented all walks of life. I was there to work for you.”

Roby highlighted what her days as a U.S. representative are like.

“We have two different kinds of weeks – district week and work week,” she said. “This week is district week, and it’s when I’m out and about visiting schools, civic organizations and businesses listening to issue that are important to my constituents – the things that matter to you. District week gives me opportunities to stay in touch with the people of my district.”

The other kind of week is workweek. It’s when Roby boards a plane and flies to Washington and walks up the hill to her office and goes to work.

Roby has served on the Armed Services, Agriculture and Education and Work Force committees.

“I have all respect for the men and women in uniform,” she said. “I’ve been to Afghanistan three times to be with our troops on Mother’s Day. That has given me an important perspective.

“Agriculture is so important because it’s Alabama’s number one industry.”

Of the Education and Work Force committee, Roby said that she is a strong advocate for local control.

Roby didn’t say that the opportunity to vacate those committees and serve on the House Committee on Appropriations was an “ah-ha” moment in her political career but she did view it as a great opportunity to be in a position to direct where Americans’ dollars go.

“Appropriations has oversight on the whole range of government spending,” Roby said. “This new role provides a unique opportunity to push for the kind of conservative spending priorities that will put us on a sustainable financial path for future generations.”

Roby said that she loves her job and considers it an honor to work for the people of District Two and all Alabama.

Roby also visited the Walmart Distribution Center in Brundidge and the Banks Buy Rite on Tuesday.