Before my week at Capitol Hill, I had the preconceived notion that politicians in Congress were cold and uncaring, only reaching out to constituents every few years for a superficial re-election. However, after working in Representative David Trone’s office for a week, I discovered just how wrong my assumptions were.
Congressman Trone’s office was welcoming and inspiring, quite the opposite of the lofty aura I had pictured in my head. Even though I did not get to meet the Congressman personally (Congress was out of session), I could feel his unwavering customer service mindset through everyday operations.
The office had a “first ring” policy which mandated us to pick up the phone on the first ring, no matter what task we were occupied with. We also logged each constituent’s opinion into a tracking program. This helped the Congressman better understand and serve his constituents.
Additionally, through the Congressional Aide program, I was able to realize government concepts that I had only previously read in textbooks. While completing my assigned projects, I witnessed firsthand how interconnected Congress, the bureaucracy, and interest groups are. One of my bigger projects was helping the Legislative Assistant scan and track literature from agencies and interest groups. This way, the Congressman could easily see an organized list of bills and requests from each organization.
Some of my favorite highlights only accessible to staffers and interns included taking the “staff only” subway to the Senate side and visiting the Democratic cloakroom.
The second that I stepped onto the Hill, I was immersed in the activity of the nation’s most important political arena. From gathering over 200 books at the Library of Congress to grabbing lunch with like-minded college interns, I am proud to have been a part of advancing our ever evolving nation. I am thankful towards Girl Scouts and everyone in Congressman David Trone’s office for allowing me to have such an amazing opportunity.