Working for the Office of Congressman Rodney Davis this past summer was one of the best experiences I have ever had, and I can honestly say that my faith in the men and women who govern our country is strong. Those people are working hard, doing what they believe is right, and most of them are the perfect people for the job they do.
For those of you who do not know, your personal Congressman represents around 750,000 people in your area of the nation. He/she probably has around 10 professional staff working in Washington, DC and many more working on particular issues/areas in the congressional district at various locations. All of them are there to serve you! So the next time you have an opinion, question or comment to share - call them! Your comments will be heard, and they do matter when the Congressmen makes his/her voting decisions.
|Illinois' 13th Congressional District - approx. 750,000 people!|
My own experiences working included many mundane office tasks such as answering phone calls and responding to emails and letters. I also gave various U.S. Capitol tours and hosted different office visitors, engaging in small talk and the occasional corny joke. While these items were important in demonstrating my commitment to the office and my passion to be successful, I truly shined when given tasks or projects in my primary area of interest - agriculture.
I worked on several short-term agricultural projects such as organizing briefing materials for agriculture committee hearings and writing letters to constituents about agricultural issues. My large agricultural project, which was perhaps the most important experience of the summer, consisted of doing a full legislative analysis of Title VII (Research) of the 2014 Farm Bill. This section of the bill pertains to the land-grant university system (i.e., UIUC), agricultural experiment stations, and many other forms of public and private research. I analyzed this legislation to help prepare to plan for the next farm bill anticipated in 2018.
Living in D.C. was completely opposite of my hometown experience in Northern Illinois, but it was something I valued and found comfort in. I appreciated the hustle, the new friendships, and the variety of events/activities going on every day!
I loved working with my fellow interns in the office. They were so great to meet, and I think I walked away with some great new contacts and a few new friends!
I was told before departing for Washington that I would either love it or hate it. I would say I loved it! I hope I can go back and continue to work in agricultural policy. While politics is not always a favored or publicly-adorned career path, it is the way we as citizens impact our own governance. Agriculture and rural-America need a strong, strategic voice in Washington, and I would like to be that for them.
Don't forget to go vote on November 8th! Your voice matters, and voting is essential to representative government.