Office of Massachusetts State Representative David LeBoeuf, Boston, MA
This summer I was able to utilize a previous connection I had made through the ASIP program to self-source an internship in the Massachusetts Legislature. I was working for Representative David LeBoeuf, doing whatever necessary for the representative in order to help him succeed at his job. I went to meetings or briefings on a variety of topics. I wrote policy proposals. I helped to create PR material, such as posts for his Facebook page about legislation he had helped to pass or voted for, along with event talking points. I also worked on creating more long-term research for the representative; I focused on four major places where he was interested in seeing how other countries handled issues, as well as proposals that would put Massachusetts in line with those countries. These topics were fare-free transportation solutions, tenant rights, public housing proposals, and childcare. I researched how different countries throughout the world deal with each of these problems and created a document that proposed possible solutions for the problems based on what worked in other countries.
I did encounter some challenges during my internship. A major one was communicating with my supervisor and fellow workers. My main point of contact was often unavailable so it was at times difficult to speak with him, get his view on my work or get new tasks to do. While this was deeply frustrating to me, it was expected; legislative aides are extremely overworked, and the time period in which I was working is one of the busiest for the Massachusetts Legislature. Both Representative LeBoeuf and his aide were working non-stop for several weeks as we approached the end of the legislative session to get as much as possible passed through, working out deals and conciliations, and recalibrating for what comes next. Giving me things to do or ensuring that I knew what was going on was lowest on their long list of tasks, and so I was not surprised when a weekly meeting was canceled. I felt that I compensated well for this by continuing to work on an individual level to do the best possible job for the representative.
Another major challenge and benefit I encountered this summer was that I was selected for grand jury service for Massachusetts. While I cannot discuss the cases that I heard on the grand jury, so far the experience has helped me broaden my perspective; and while certainly not directly a part of my internship, I am grateful that I was also able to attend a grand jury and see up close how our criminal justice system works.