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On Thursday, February 19th, the Chamber's Suzanne Clark sat down to get Back to Business with Congressman Peter Meijer.
Who is Congressman Peter Meijer?
Elected: November 2020
Representing: Michigan's 3rd District
Congressman Meijer began his career of service during college, enlisting in the Army reserves and halting his studies to deploy to Iraq and conduct intelligence operations to protect American and allied forces. After returning from Iraq in 2011, Representative Meijer finished college and joined Team Rubicon, a veteran-based disaster response organization. He later served in a role with a conflict analysis NGO in Afghanistan to deliver much-needed assistance to the Afghan people.
Beyond his military service and work to help those in need, Representative Meijer is no stranger to the power of business to lift communities. His grandfather and great grandfather started a family-owned grocery store in Michigan in 1934 called Meijer that now operates more than 200 stores across the Midwest. He says his grandfather Fred inspired him to pursue a path of purpose and service and instilled in him a love for his community.
Most recently, Representative Meijer has been working in urban redevelopment and real estate until his election to Congress in November.
“At every stage, I think it is important to serve and to be a part of a cause that is greater than yourself”
“I think to a family, to an individual, [a job] is a sense of agency, determination of being able to strike out and provide within a community. It’s the uniting of individuals towards a common shared purpose so that the whole can be greater than just the sum of its parts. “
“In tough moments when you meet a good soul, folks that are not dismissing tough times but are sitting there and saying they are ready to rise to the challenge, that makes me optimistic. I do not think it takes too many folks like that to change the course of a movement, change the course of a government, or change the course of history. “
The Bottom Line…
Congressman Meijer knows what it is like to focus on and complete a mission and is eager to take this experience to Congress and begin the mission of serving his district.
For Meijer, success in his first term will be measured by if he is able to guide and support policies that are thoughtful, well-considered, and have a proper policy foundation. At the same time, Meijer emphasized that in order for him to truly deliver results for his district, these policies must have a long term solution and approach because “if there is one thing our government needs less of it is folks that are only prioritizing the best short term electoral interest rather than what is truly needed for our long term governance as a nation.”
In an effort to find these long-term policy solutions, Meijer has joined the Problem Solvers Caucus. This caucus is a bipartisan group of lawmakers that have come together to find commonsense solutions to many of the country's toughest challenges. Sometimes though, finding solutions requires making hard decisions, something Meijer has become familiar within his first few weeks in office. He noted that in those tough moments, he has met “good souls”, people that are not dismissing of the tough times but are ready to rise to the challenge. “I do not think it takes too many folks like that to change the course of a movement, change the course of a government, or change the course of history,” said Meijer.
At the U.S. Chamber, we are grateful to have leaders like Rep. Meijer in Congress who recognize the importance of finding common ground and seeking long-term solutions to our nation’s most pressing problems. We are committed to working with Rep. Meijer and all members of Congress to bring civility back into politics so that government can truly work for the people. It is time we get back to the business of governing, and we thank Congressman Meijer for joining us on this mission.