Jacob Rosenberg ’22

New York League of Conservation Voters, New York, NY

My three-month internship at the New York League of Conservation Voters (NYLCV) was a truly rewarding experience. NYLCV is a bipartisan environmental advocacy nonprofit that lobbies local, state, and federal politicians to adopt policies to improve and protect our environment. Two mechanisms by which NYLCV tries to promote change are through its scorecard and endorsement process. After every legislative session, state legislators are scored based on their support for important environmental bills. This process helps provide constituents with the information to gauge how well or poorly their representatives are protecting the environment. Along with this scorecard, NYLCV engages in an endorsement process for politicians throughout New York State, which further helps constituents know if a candidate is strong or weak on environmental issues.

I walked past this building every day for 3 months!

As an intern, I helped NYLCV’s political team with both processes. I performed scorecard outreach in which I directly lobbied state assembly members to co-sponsor important legislation that had failed this past session with the hopes that their added support would help these bills pass in the future. However, I spent most of my time engrossed in the endorsement process for candidates on Long Island, in Westchester, and around New York’s Capital Region. By researching local candidates, I produced profiles which incorporated their background and views on the environment. With these profiles in hand, I sat in on over fifty candidate interviews in which I helped evaluate each person’s position on important local and county environmental issues.

At my lovely workstation.

The other main project that I worked on was the collection of over 1500 school lead water testing lab reports. Research shows that there is no safe level of lead in drinking water, especially for children. However, the EPA has set an action limit of 15 ppb at which remediation must occur. NYLCV championed a bill, which unanimously passed, that lowers this lead-action level from 15 ppb to 5 ppb, with the eventual goal of passing legislation that limits lead pipes in schools to <1 ppb. In collecting all the lead lab reports from schools throughout New York State, we soon hope to have a better idea of how much lead exists between the 15 ppb, 5 ppb, and <1 ppb thresholds.

As I enter my senior year, I have begun to contemplate where and with what type of people I want to work alongside. Interning at NYLCV has shown me the infectious drive of working alongside passionate and knowledgeable people. As a political science major, I eventually want to work in some area of government public service. This summer has given me insight into the behind the scenes of local, state, and federal politics, important skills for any public servant to have. Furthermore, sitting in on coalition meetings has shown me how effective—and not so effective—groups operate, elucidating the qualities in a good manager or leader. Ultimately, I had an amazing experience interning at NYLCV, which is why I would like to thank the ’68 Center for Career Exploration as well as the Class of 1972 for helping to make such an experience possible.