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Staff Snapshots | Luke Kiszla

July 5, 2022 | State Legislatures News | Print

Luke Kiszla

Hometown: Mobile, Ala.

Role: Legislative Attorney, Legislative Services Agency, Alabama Legislature

Years of legislative service: Five

NCSL connection: Kiszla is a 2020 graduate of NCSL’s Legislative Staff Certificate Program.

The skill or talent he’s most proud of: “I love word selection and grammar/syntax decision-making. I have typically used these skills ‘for evil’ by making puns and other obnoxious wordplay, but I rely on them every day in my current capacity.”

 

Why did you choose to work at the legislature?

I did not know about the role of legislative drafters until my time in law school was nearly complete. Once I was exposed to the role, I gravitated toward it. I have always had a passion for writing, a penchant for etymological trivia, an interest in parliamentary proceedings, and an insatiable curiosity. In legislative drafting, this “word nerd” found a labor in which I could leverage my current skills while also honing and developing them, and one which engages daily with my interests.

What’s the best advice you were ever given?

Communication is a two-way street: What they are hearing is as important as what you are saying.

Who or what inspires you?

In the least cheesy way possible, I am inspired by the ordinary. Sometimes, we get so caught up with inspirational stories or figures that we forget the strength and perseverance that people display every single day, in ways big and small. I am most inspired by a story where someone was able to do some good in their little corner of the world.

What’s one thing you love about your state?

I am awed by Alabama’s ecological diversity. If you look at a geologic map of Alabama, it contains slices of many different regions, from coastal plain to piedmont to the foothills of the Appalachians. Alabama contains 15% of the nation’s freshwater, including the Mobile-Tensaw River Delta, the second-most biodiverse area in the Western Hemisphere behind the Amazon, and the Cahaba River, the only home of the beautiful Cahaba Lily. This ecological diversity has lent itself to a surprising depth of cultural variety throughout Alabama’s history, from the time of the Mississippian culture to our present day. I enjoy that, on any given weekend, I could choose to visit the beach, the bayou, the mountains, the rivers, the lakes or the grasslands, and sample the offerings that each region has to offer—especially if those offerings include food.

What are you currently reading/listening to/watching?

In between my gardening and cooking programs (and Alabama Crimson Tide games), I’ve been rereading a book I treasured when I was very young. It contains legends, myths and fables from throughout human history. These stories imparted to me many lessons that I ponder daily, but I’m reading them with new eyes now that I’m a couple short steps farther down the road of life.

This interview has been edited for length and clarity.

For its “Staff Snapshots” series, State Legislatures News is asking legislative staff about their role in the legislature. If you’d like to suggest a staffer for this series, please email Holly South at NCSL.

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