July 11, 2016
“Thus far, I have spent my summer as a proud recipient of the James G. Fulton and J. Steele Gow Political Fellowship that partners with the Les Aspin Center for Government in Washington, DC. The fellowship itself includes working at an internship four days a week along with a political science class entitled “Policy Making in Washington, DC.” My internship experience has incorporated rallies, congressional briefings, progressive conferences, research, social media and an upcoming blog and op-ed that I am currently working on. The topics that have been covered through the progressive non-profit organization parallels the focal interests of the Congressional Progressive Caucus (CPC). Because of this, I have been exposed to highly covered events such as #NoBillNoBreak and #DisarmHate where Congress proceeded to have a historical sit-in orchestrated by John Lewis and other progressives in retaliation to Speaker Paul Ryan on the topic of gun control and gun violence. Outside of the hands-on rallies, I have attended 8 briefings and meetings ranging in topics including the foreclosure crisis, economic realities for women, corrupt banks, the right to vote, race and higher education, fossil fuels, women’s rights and gun violence. While attending such events, I proceeded to take notes and articulate the main points of the events through social media rhetoric. However, my larger research project takes place on a much more interpersonal scale. My research task is to piece together important progressive events and topics ranging over a 20 plus year period of time. Overall, I have been given the opportunity to link social justice with specific progressive movements in order to broaden my knowledge in history, politics, current events and ethics.
Throughout my time in DC, I have been faced with systemic issues of homelessness that fill the streets next to concentrated levels of wealth. As a Bonner Leader, I have tried to actively engage with those in need by providing them lunch, support and companionship. With my growing anger and confusion towards the epidemic of homelessness, I have found that those living in DC are incredibly disconnected and desensitized to the pain and immediate need homeless DC citizens encounter every day. Therefore, I have taken measures within my internship to cover and write about the interrelated issues of homelessness, education, race, mental health and income inequality. I hope to continue thinking critically about my environment while actively loving those around me in order to become a better person and better Bonner.”
–Roseangela Hartford, UC ’18