Throughout the lifetime of The Legislative Gazette, interns have found themselves reporting on vastly different political climates at the Capitol. There are, however, two things I believe may be constants; beware the elevators on Tuesdays and Dr. Alan Chartock’s insistence that when we left our time at the paper, we would be more informed on New York state politics than 99 percent of the population.
The first time this statement was made to me, I had my doubts. I knew virtually nothing about the issues being debated by the Legislature, let alone how it operated on a fundamental level. What I did have was a love of writing and a portfolio of clips from SUNY New Paltz only a mother could love. However, it didn’t take long at the Gazette for me to realize I was developing a desire to know more. Before long, it seemed I could talk of nothing else than the medical marijuana bill gaining Republican sponsors, or how I would vote on an upcoming public referendum.
The Gazette is an exceptionally valuable tool for this reason, as it allows students to begin to chip away at seemingly intimidating topics or ideas until they are able to explain it themselves. Regardless of subject matter, allowing people this opportunity is key to creating a well informed and innovative society, something we should all be striving for.
After completing my internship at The Legislative Gazette I began working for Airbnb as a member of their mobilization team for New York state. Without question, interning in Albany inspired me to seek work in public policy and I found myself better prepared to do so because of my time spent at the Gazette. Beyond giving me an understanding of the legislative process, The Legislative Gazette gave me an unique opportunity to understand how to effectively advocate for legislation and build relationships that contribute to your narrative.
As I continue working in and around the world of New York state politics, the insight I gained into what it means to “get something done” in Albany has been invaluable and being part of the team helped me recognize my own appetite for delving into the issues that affect the lives of New Yorkers. However, more importantly, the ability to develop a well-informed view on an issue and the excitement that leads you there is something all students should have the opportunity to experience. While I can’t say for certain whether I left the Gazette knowing more about our state government than 99 percent of people, I certainly left wanting to.