CCPA Summer Series 2019: New York League of Conservation Voters

CCPA Summer Series 2019: New York League of Conservation Voters

A Summer at the New York League of Conservation Voters By Johnluca Fenton ’21 Thought experiment: can you name even one local elected official that represents you and the town you are from? For most people reading this post, I would bet the answer to that question to be a regretful no. But I totally get that. In a political world that has become so incredibly polarized and iconified by a select few congressional and federal leaders, most Americans often fail to understand or acknowledge the incredibly important work that our local elected officials carry out every day. As an intern at the New York League of Conservation Voters (NYLCV) this summer, my role has primarily been to dive deep into this not-so-apparent, yet fascinating, world of local politics. In doing so, I have been tasked, along with a team of several other interns, to help the NYLCV figure out which candidates they want to officially endorse in the local New York state elections taking place this fall. Before going any further, I should spell out what exactly the NYLCV is and does. As per the NYLCV website, the storied non-profit is “the only state wide environmental organization in New York that fights for clean water, clean air, renewable energy, and open space through political action.” To achieve this end, the NYLCV focuses on three main approaches to environmental political advocacy: evaluating (through their yearly environmental scorecards of all NY state elected officials), campaigning (for the passage of eco-beneficial laws and initiatives), and finally endorsing candidates who show a true care and concern for the environment. As you might...
CCPA Summer Series: Eleni Smitham ’19 White House Internship, Washington DC

CCPA Summer Series: Eleni Smitham ’19 White House Internship, Washington DC

 Liberal Arts in the Workplace Funding / White House Internship Summer 2016 Eleni Smitham ’19   Everything about this summer was kind of surreal. I remember the first day, walking up to the gate and expecting to be turned away by the Secret Service. But they let me in, and continued to let me in every single day for eleven weeks. Inside those gates I was given more responsibility and exposure to incredible work and people than I could have imagined. It was a privilege to be inside the gates of the White House, and to participate in effecting positive change. I was there as a part of the White House Internship Program, which provides college and graduate students from all over the country with an opportunity to build leadership skills and gain unparalleled professional experience. Interns are introduced to the public sector, and I was surprised and grateful at the amount of responsibility my fellow interns and I were given. I was fortunate to be working in the Presidential Personnel Office, which is the office that oversees the selection process for Presidential appointments. Staff in the Presidential Personnel Office recruit qualified candidates to best represent the interests of the President in departments and agencies across the Administration. My role was to communicate with candidates for political appointments. I worked with interns in my office on occasion, but was first and foremost a member of my team – a reality that I don’t think many interns elsewhere get to experience, and something that made my summer so much more fulfilling.   The White House Internship Program also emphasized building...