The other week Young Americans for Liberty at Washington University in St Louis had the pleasure of hosting our largest event yet: a bipartisan panel consisting of four members of the Missouri State House of Representatives. Phil Christofanelli, and Jean Evans, two Republicans, joined Peter Meredith and Steve Roberts, two Democrats, to discuss pressing MO political issues. The event was a huge success. With over 40 students attending, we had a diverse and engaged audience, eager to hear about how their elected officials were handling the issues they cared most about.
We discussed a wide range of issues, including gun control, school choice, criminal justice issues and many many more. Towards the end, students were given the opportunity to ask legislators about issues they were passionate about, and engage them on their political differences. The feedback we got was astounding. Not only were students interested to hear about more about our club, but they were appreciative that we were able to hold such a substantive yet cordial conversation about contentious MO issues.
I was especially happy to have Phil Christofanelli attend, representing the liberty position. He demonstrated to students that one can support limited government spending, and still care deeply about criminal justice issues plaguing the state. It was nice to hear his fresh perspective, when we are too often told that one must fit neatly in the left-right dichotomy. Ultimately, this panel wouldnt have been possible without Phil’s support. I met Phil at YALcon earlier this year, and he expressed tremendous interest in helping us organize an event on campus. He was instrumental in helping us find interested legislatures to attend the event. Phil was formerly the President of my YAL chapter before I attended WashU and his work as a liberty leaning Republican should be truly inspiring to YAL members across the country. He is real a testament to how well YAL can educate and train liberty minded individuals, to go out into the real world and create serious change starting from the bottom up. Our chapter has nothing but appreciation for his efforts both in helping us organize this event, and protecting liberty in the MO State House.