Legislative aide learns politics from the inside


March 11, 1998|By Pat Brodowski | Pat Brodowski,SPECIAL TO THE SUN

GROWING UP ON Maple Grove Road in Manchester, Wilpatrick "Skip" Gibson wanted to see the world.

He attended local schools, and then a scholarship sent him to St. Paul's School. That's where he participated in the student model United Nations, which helped him to choose international studies as a major at Washington College. He also attended the London School of Economics.

Gibson, 24, has worked as a lobbyist in London and as a junior U.S. foreign service officer in Barbados and Haiti. He's back in Maryland for a while, to learn politics through direct experience.

Since January and until late April, Gibson is serving as legislative aide to Republican Del. Joseph M. Getty in Annapolis. After that, he'll move to Capitol Hill, into a similar position in the office of Republican Rep. Robert L. Ehrlich Jr.

"My ideal goal is to work for the foreign service, working overseas. Working for Joe and the congressman are ways to learn the system from the ground up, so to speak, to get a picture of all the pieces in the puzzle," says Gibson.

The pieces are many, it seems.

"I do a little of everything for Joe," he said. "I've tried to narrow that down, but the more I try, the more things seem to evade definition. Whoever works for Joe needs to mesh well. A little of everything is the best way to put it.

"Research, writing, helping to draft speaking points, fielding constituent correspondence such as e-mail and handwritten and telephone calls. I help organize his schedule, set up meetings, get testimony together for bills before hearings."

Getty and Gibson are alumni of Washington College. And Getty has long been a friend of Gibson's father, a happy circumstance when Gibson approached Getty last fall for advice on how to build a path that would lead to his working on Capitol Hill.

"Joe's a great guy. He's been my mentor from the beginning. Then, he offered me the 90-day legislative session. He has certainly steered me in the right direction," said Gibson.

Church musical

On Sunday, the 200-member North Carroll Assembly of God church winds up its two-day annual missionary convention with guest Gary Dickinson, who works in the Congo, and a 30-minute musical presented by the children's choir during the 11 a.m. service.

The children's musical, "Prayerworks," "is about a group of kids on a train, The Jesus Express, that takes them to mission stations throughout the world. In our version, that's Mexico and China. The express runs through prayer power. The kids need to work together to spread the Gospel throughout the world," said Cindy Myers, who is directing the production.

Dickinson will speak about starting churches with congregations of 500 to 2,000 people, training Bible school pastors and establishing Bible schools. His wife, Janice, and daughters Emily and Shannon will share their experiences at the Sunday service and during a church banquet Saturday night.

About 11 percent of the church's annual budget supports missionary work in seven foreign and 10 national missions.

"There's an exhaustive list of people we'd like to take on," says the Rev. Deanna Shrodes, who is co-pastor of the church with husband, Larry. "The purpose of our convention is to give more every year to foreign and home missions."

Information: 410-239-2848.

Lawn care for residents

The third gardening course by Lisa Spence for residents of Robert's Field will be held from 7 p.m. to 8 p.m. March 18 at Spring Garden Elementary, Boxwood Drive, Hampstead.

Complete lawn care will be the subject, as overuse of fertilizer in neighborhoods can affect the waterways running through them. Residents may register for the very lively program that includes up-to-date printed reference information and an opportunity to discuss home horticulture with Spence.

Refreshments will be served.

Information: 410-848-4611.

Pub Date: 3/11/98

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