There is no greater privilege than representing the San Fernando Valley on the Los Angeles City Council. Oftentimes I am asked what advice I have for students who are looking to make a difference in their community. The answer is simple—take advantage of the myriad opportunities to engage in the process.
Our internship program offers high school and college students a unique opportunity to experience the work of a City Council office. The program exposes students to district and legislative office operations and activities of a Councilmember's work. These experiences include working with constituents, conducting community outreach efforts, assisting community based organizations, organizing civic events and projects, databases, staffing the office, and other activities.
Many legislators and senior policy staff began their careers as interns. In my own office, many of our staff started out as interns in my Council or Assembly office, including my Community Affairs Director Michael Owens, Legislative Deputy Erik Rodriguez, and Field Deputy Safi Lodin. Our newest staff member, Arielle Bernard, who handles our Jewish Community outreach and serves as Tarzana field deputy, started as an intern just last summer. Other Team Blumenfield interns have since gone on to top colleges and have had successful careers working for State Senators, Members of Congress, and even the United States Geological Service.
Internships are invaluable to gain an understanding of our democratic process, as well as an excellent opportunity to make valuable contacts, learn about job opportunities, and develop skills that can be applied to future public service or any workplace. Who knows, you could even get a front seat as history is made.
Internships are available to all part-time or full-time students 18 years of age or older. Interns will gain valuable education and work experience by through working with our office. All internship work is voluntary and students will not receive any monetary compensation. Depending on their college programs, students may also receive different types of school credit for participating as interns.
We accept interns at both our City Hall and Reseda offices. If you or a student you know is interested in gaining experience and seeing the process of local government first hand during the spring or summer, head to http://blumenfield.lacity.org/intern_with_us to apply.
UPDATE 9/5/2014: Mr. Rodriguez and Ms. Bernard's titles have been updated to reflect current positions.