Internship Location: Remote
Organization Type: Federal and Local Government
Policy Areas: Government Relations
Over the summer, I interned with the Office of (Shadow) Senator Paul Strauss. Paul Strauss is the shadow senator for the District of Columbia. Our office’s main goal and focus this summer was S.51 and D.C. Statehood advocacy. Nonetheless, we acted like a typical senator’s office in that we would report on congressional/council hearings and help D.C. residents and constituents with their needs. Work this summer was completely in person and located at the John A. Wilson Building, which houses the Executive Office of the Mayor and the Council of the District of Columbia. As the building is located downtown, it is recommended to take public transportation, like the metro. Typical weeks included 40+ hours of work. Please note that the internship is unpaid. Standard work for interns included attending/watching various congressional and D.C. Council committee hearings. Other work includes creating posters/flyers, constantly monitoring social media for events or other news, and doing any and all work asked by the senator or your supervisor. As interns, we were assigned a multitude of events and fundraisers across different sectors. Events outside of the office often ran well into the evening. While it felt good to get my foot in the door and into politics and office work, I didn’t exactly feel valued as an intern here at the shadow delegation’s office. Not only did a lot of the work feel unimportant, but there was very little for us to work on. The senator did not come into the office once throughout the internship and I interacted with him less than five times over the summer. Overall, while the internship was rewarding as I got a glimpse of how the D.C. government and offices work, I feel like my fellow interns and I could have been valued and utilized more especially as S.51 moved its way through the Senate during our internship. During the internship, you will gain skills in work-ethic, writing, analyzing, researching, and gain a better understanding of congress, the D.C. Council and its processes. Lastly, my internship has shed light on the importance of D.C. Statehood and the need for stronger voting rights. I would now consider myself an expert on the issue and look forward to the 51st state!