Advocacy student and Progressive Caucus Fellow
It’s early July and I’m halfway through my fellowship with the Congressional Progressive Caucus. The time has really flown by and I am enjoying my experience working on the Hill. Admittedly, it took a few weeks to get into the swing of things. Working in a Congressional office is a very unique experience. However, now that I am more familiar with names, lingo, and procedures, I am taking on large responsibilities for the Progressive Caucus and gaining valuable experience.
I spent my first few weeks working to organize Congressional CPC members around Resolutions Week. Resolutions Week is a national campaign organized by numerous social justice organizations that supports towns and cities in the passage of resolutions to end corporate personhood and keep corporate funding out of politics. During the middle of June, events were organized across the country to pass resolutions and raise awareness of the issues related to corporate personhood. I coordinated the Congressional participation in these Resolutions Week events. CPC members attended events in their districts and showed support through media outreach.
Recently, I coordinated Congressional participation in a press conference for the Supreme Court’s decision on the Affordable Care Act. I also helped to organize a Congressional walk-out and press conference on a vote to hold Attorney General Eric Holder in contempt of Congress. The walk-out included a large majority of Democratic and Independent Representatives, including Minority Leader Rep. Nancy Pelosi.
On any given day, I am in and out of CPC planning meetings, researching environmental and social justice issues, communicating with constituents, organizing CPC Congressional members for various events and votes, updating our daily newsletter, and coordinating the CPC’s upcoming activities. I have also spent time attending staff briefings and committee hearings on environmental issues. There is a great deal of work to be done but the organizing and project coordination skills I am gaining will be invaluable in my career as an environmental advocate.
Outside of my fellowship, I am having a great experience in Washington, D.C. I have tasted amazing food, walked around all of the museums, and even had some time to head to the beach! However, my greatest experience so far has been attending the Annual Congressional Picnic where I was able to meet President Barack Obama and First Lady Michelle Obama. I hope the second half of my summer with the Progressive Caucus will be just as memorable as the first.