Texas House of Representatives, Rep. Allan Ritter
Spring 2013 Site Review
Position: Legislative Intern
Student: Plan II Senior
A legislative intern works at the Texas Capitol assisting the representative and his or her staff. Senators and Representatives are charged with representing citizens from their district and crafting laws to aid in the betterment of society. It is the job of legislative intern to assist in this process in any way they can.
On a normal day, I show up at 11 o’clock. While waiting for my first assignment, I log onto the computer, grab a snack from the refrigerator, read through my emails, browse the Texas Tribune website, answer the phone, and watch the House debates on television. Around noon, a lobbyist pays for our meal, which all of the staff gets to eat. My usual assignment consists of writing letters to the constituents who have emailed or sent letters regarding their views on certain bills. To compose these letters, I find a similar email from the archive of constituent letters and change the details to fit the constituent’s concerns by looking up facts about the legislation they mentioned online. I log their information and viewpoints into the online Content Management Software. I finish these letters by 1:30, and email my drafted letters to my office manager. Around 2 o’clock, my manager will approve the letters and I will print the responses, input in the reply message into the software system, and take them to the mailroom. After 2 o’clock, I look up articles in the news related to current legislation and save them to our global archive system, so that the representative is aware of the public’s opinion on the bills he is pushing. As my representative is at the vanguard of much of the water legislation, there are many articles to find. I leave my shift at 5 o’clock and catch the bus back to campus.