Former Orcas student interns for Senator Patty Murray

by Cara Bowes

Special to the Sounder

Perturbed by the results of the first election I was able to vote during and uncertain about the future of my country, I searched for an outlet to pour my free time into. I was lucky enough to be chosen as an intern for Senator Patty Murray at her Seattle office. In January, Murray’s staffers quickly informed us this quarterly internship would have to adapt to the drastic shift in the political climate which we operate within. We, myself and two other interns, greeted the challenge with hunger.

Over the next couple months, I created resources for immigrants and undocumented people targetted by the 45th President’s Muslim ban, wrote letters of recommendation to U.S. immigration offices abroad for people seeking extended Visas, attended meetings with constituents and a change of command at Seattle’s Navy base, as well as helped set up a press conference with Patty Murray herself.

I learned about the inner workings of local government and the direct effect constituents can have on their representatives. The most valuable experience in this internship was being able to sit down one-on-one with the Senator; able to ask direct questions about her experience working for over two decades as a woman in Congress through so many different climates. I, myself, would like to follow in similar footsteps to improve the United States’ political system which so obviously needs fixing.

We need young people to take political action and run for office. This is our future! For too long politicians have been “those people” out of our reach who are supposed to work for us. Having the first President of my adulthood be someone whose values and intentions are so far skewed from my own and which pose grave dangers to our planet, our rights, and the livelihood at home and abroad proves the need for a grassroots movement.

Use your words wisely, don’t let your voice be snuffed out, operate with tolerance yet know what is just action is.

Former Orcas student interns for Senator Patty Murray