Internship Location: Remote (Senate District is in Manhattan)
Organization Type: State Government
Policy Areas: Transit, social welfare and housing policy
From January through April of 2021, I have been working remotely as an Intern in the Office of New York Senator Brad Hoylman. During this time, I’ve served as a community liaison for district residents. This has meant finding resources and solutions to all manner of issues and topics. The most challenging aspect of this was learning when to refer constituents to other offices, when to let a constituent know about a pending piece of legislation that addresses their concern, when to contact state agencies to help sort out an issue, and when to help a constituent apply to a social welfare resource to remedy their problem. In the beginning of the vaccine rollout, much of my time was spent booking vaccine appointments for the residents of the 27th District. By the end of our efforts, Senator Hoylman’s Office had booked more than 1,300 appointments. Many of these were for senior citizens who do not have access to a computer and might otherwise not be able to secure an appointment. As the vaccine rollout progressed, it was encouraging to see appointments become increasingly more plentiful. This shift away from vaccine appointments also allowed me to spend more time dealing with subjects related to my policy areas of interest, primarily transit and housing. I conducted research on New York City’s issues with housing those experiencing homelessness and was able to take notes on several meetings regarding the redevelopment of Penn Station. I was also able to practice my skills drafting long and short form policy memos, research documents, and proclamations. This internship has deepened my knowledge in my policy areas of interest and shown me avenues for my career that I was not aware of beforehand. Despite the virtual setting, I was able to connect with staff in the office and forge personal connections that I look forward to continuing long after my internship concludes.