Internship Location: Madison
Organization Type: State Government
Policy Areas: Legislative
This summer, I interned in the Office of Representative Francesca Hong, who serves the 76th District in the Wisconsin State Assembly. I worked closely with Rep. Hong, her Chief of Staff Nada Elmikashfi, and several peer interns. With no legislative session during the summer, we spent the majority of our time responding to constituent concerns, such as abortion rights, and addressing casework, such as Medicaid reimbursement. These community contacts are invaluable to Rep. Hong, and inform all of her legislative actions. I drew on my policy analysis skills developed through La Follette coursework to communicate policy quickly and effectively. I saw how classroom concepts such as administrative burden and evidence-based policy play out in the real world. I excelled at casework research and response, so I became Nada’s go-to person to assist constituents with administrative processes. I also wrote a bill proposal, a Wisconsin version of Ohio’s “Kevin’s Law,” which grants emergency prescription overrides. It will be drafted with the Legislative Reference Bureau and introduced by Rep. Hong in the next session. I saw both positive and negative aspects of the legislature during my internship, varying from impressive community involvement to party infighting. Nevertheless, my experience ultimately reassured me that good people are working hard to correct systemic problems. I am now just as passionate, but better equipped, to navigate the process of making and implementing policy. I will be a more confident advocate in the future for legislation that matters to me.