I’m very excited because as my “summer” internship comes to a close I will continue working with NARAL as a fall intern! Working with this organization has been so incredible, I’m so excited to continue as the election heats up. Next week, Sept. 6th, is the primary followed by the general election on November 7th. Until then, NARAL is in full election mode, which will entail me spending all of my time on different campaigns.
After the election, we immediately jump into legislative mode preparing for the upcoming session, understanding our opponents’ proposed legislation, and beginning to work with allied organizations, local community leaders, and legislators themselves. I’m very excited for all that is upcoming in the next few months.
This summer has been an incredible experience for me. I think it’s really shed a lot of light onto my future career goals. I am certain that I want to be in the non-profit area. I have decided to postpone a graduate degree as most programs prefer candidates to work a few years in the field. This internship has allowed me the opportunity to speak with real role-models currently doing the things I see myself doing, and allow me to understand the paths, their advice, their experience, and their future aspirations.
While so far my experience with NARAL the connections I’ve made, and the things I have learned have been invaluable, I am just extremely excited to continue on and get different experience in the legislative field. I’m excited to transform from an intern whose main job was to focus on electoral politics and campaigning, to an intern who gets to really delve into the legislative process. Therefore, I’m extremely excited to learn more about the other aspect of NARALs work.
One challenge of this summer was reconciling my ideas of justice with my ideas of politics. In my opinion, politicians think more about winning elections and less about sticking to their moral compasses. This makes many of these politicians no less of wonderful, compassionate, dedicated and hardworking people with incredible intentions – but it does compromise the representation. Unfortunately, this is nationwide, both on small local scales and larger national scales. This idea that to win elections, games must be played – compromises the integrity of the system. When I’ve witnessed wonderful politicians have to vote against things that they believe in, or vice versa, solely for some political game, it really hurts as a constituent and someone who is working to get them elected. So in that sense, it has deflated my hope for politics as a vehicle for social justice.
Lastly, I want to mention a closing reflection from this summer. I am a young, energetic, enthusiastic and idealist 22 year old woman. Yet everyday something new happens, or I understand something better, or see a connection for the first time and realize how many problems there are in the world. Yet every day, I meet someone new working to fix them. So I guess the reflection is, that as dedicated as I am to this type of work I must remember that I am only one person, and that if I can change one small thing I’ve accomplished a lot. So I’m trying to narrow my scope and realize that Rome wasn’t built in a day.
Check out this blog post I wrote for Naral!
– Becca Miller ’13