Texas House of Representatives, Rep. James White
Spring 2013 Site Review
Position: Legislative Intern
Student: Government Senior
I interned for State Representative James White of District 19 at his Texas State Capitol office in Austin. I started in late January and finished in early May. Representative White has represented East Texas since 2011. It was an honor and a privilege to intern for a man that I admire politically. Rep. White is the Vice Chairman of Corrections and a member of Agriculture and Livestock committees. He is one of the few African Americans currently in the Texas House of Representatives.
The most rewarding part of working for Rep. White was the ability to directly interact with constituents and lobbyist on a daily basis. As an intern, I was the first person that constituents interacted with when they came into the office. It was important that I welcomed them with open-arms and a positive attitude. It was important that I understood that I was an extension of Rep. White. Being respectful to constituents was critical. I needed to leave a good impression of not only myself, but Rep. White.
Interacting with constituents wasn’t the only job I did. I also was entrusted with “grunt” work. This is the type of work that none of the staffers want to do. Things like filing constituent opinions or responding to constituent letters was my responsibility. In addition, I worked with other interns on projects ranging from looking over newspapers to find obituaries or checking the mail. This type of work wasn’t glamorous, but it was rewarding to know that I was able to levy the burden on the hard-working staffers. There was very little deviation from this on a daily basis. The repetitiveness of these tasks really took a toll on me. It was boring, and sometimes unnecessary. However, I reminded myself that I don’t make the rules.