Hello from Washington, DC!
I have learned so much in my first week as a Roosevelt Institute Summer Academy Fellow!
For the sake of simplicity on the blog, I can summarize all of this new knowledge into three categories:
- New things I have learned about Roosevelt
- New things I have learned about the progressive policy space
- New things I have learned about myself through this experience, so far.
When I first came to DC, I attended the Roosvelt Institute’s Annual Orientation was held in the Roosevelt Institute’s Annual Distinguished Public Service Awards. It was a very special night in Union Station. During the course of that glamorous night, I heard Leaders Harry Reid and Nancy Pelosi honor Congressman Barney Frank, General President of the Teamsters, James P. Hoffa, Senator Christopher Dodd, ad former EPA Administrator Lisa Jackson. It was DC’s version of a star-studded night, and it really gave the clear impression that the Roosevelt Institute is a heavyweight within the progressive policy space.
In NYC during the following days, I learned much about the history of the Roosevelt Institute Campus Network and its relationship with the Roosevelt Institute and the Roosevelt Family. I will look forward to sharing the information with you all at our first meeting of the year!
I have also learned a great deal about the progressive policy space and about some of the major players within that arena. They include The Center for American Progress, the American Federation of Labor and Congress of Industrial Organizations (AFL-CIO), The Center for Community Change, Young Invincibles, and Organizing for Action.
I have learned about the myriad of jobs available in political organizing, issue-based campaigns, and think tanks.
I have attended training sessions by Democratic Gain, the New Organizing Institute, and the Roosevelt Institute Pipeline. I plan to bring many of these trainings back home to Knoxville to do with our chapter and its new members.
In terms of personal learning, I have come to understand more about the ginormous impact one person working locally can make. Further, I have been impressed by the capacity for students address the county to influence the investment practices at their universities to affect positive community change. I have been obsessively reading Gar Alperovitz’s new book, “What Then Must We Do” and I am looking forward to picking up “American Beyond Capitalism” next.
I will send another update soon. If you are feeling inspired, send us a tweet @RooseveltUTK or @juliaross212 or give me a call!
Go DC. Go Roo. Go Vols.