Texas House of Representatives, Rep. Gary Elkins
Spring 2011 Site Review
Position: Assistant to the Chief of Staff
Student: Sociology Senior
My workweek is extremely scheduled and patterned. I work Monday through Thursday from 12:30-5:30. On Monday and Wednesday, Representative Elkins has committee meetings once the House is adjourned or at 2, whichever is later. Monday and Wednesday typically have similar schedules. I get to work at 12:30 and catch up on the bills being heard in the House that day and I work on constituent issues and responses until either Ways & Means Committee or Culture, Recreation, & Tourism Committee meet. Once the meetings are scheduled, I go to the meeting room and deliver Representative Elkins’ binder and stay for the meeting, listening and taking notes on the bills being discussed.
When bills are laid out, I am responsible for understanding the purpose of the bill and noting which organizations are for and which are opposed to the bill and why. I also keep track of the pending business discussed in Committee. On Tuesday and Thursday, I have less of a steady schedule. I still arrive to work at 12:30 and am updated about House proceedings but my projects and work tend to vary on those days, as I am not crunched for time in the office. I typically start by updating any outstanding projects I have in order for them to be available as soon as possible. I then tackle any constituent emails I have been forwarded since the day before and store them in the Correspondence Management System. I reply to letters we already have a stance on and wait on others. I refer letters to other representatives and deliver these letters to their corresponding offices. Throughout the day, I must answer and direct calls as well as be ready to talk to constituents or organizations about legislation of importance to them. I help Jessica greet different lobbyists and organizations that stop by the office and answer any questions I can.