by Guest Blogger, Alicia G.
When most American people think of Congress, they typically think of legislators working the Capitol building in Washington D.C., but in reality their representatives are also hard at work within their own communities.
Through my experience serving as a Girl Scout Congressional Aide in Congresswoman Jennifer Wexton’s Sterling District Office in Virginia’s 10th District, I came to understand all the important responsibilities that Congressional representatives and their staff have off and on the Hill while serving and engaging the people who elected them.
During my placement, I completed many jobs. I answered and logged constituent phone calls, and I was able to research local grants. My most memorable assignment was compiling a calendar of annual events that the Congresswoman could attend in her district, which extends from just outside of Washington D.C. to the West Virginia border. Enabling the Congresswoman to engage with her expansive district was a high priority in the office, among these engagements were local happenings ranging from farm festivals to chamber of commerce meetings.
Through conversations with the tight-knit office team, I learned about what it takes to understand the needs of community nonprofits and the casework assisting constituents in areas from immigration to veteran’s affairs. My time in the district office emphasized that the work of Congress, (especially on) the local level, is truly ‘by the people and for the people.’