Did this person on my Facebook really just say… How can you support a show called All-American Muslim on TLC?… Uhm because this IS AMERICA!!!!!! The right to free religion the right to have this on TV, just because we’re in a war on terrorism doesn’t mean we’re in a war on the Muslin Religion, this just is the idiocracy and ignorance America is contaminated it.
I am actually appalled .” —
As my internship at The Ohio House of Representatives in House District 50 has come to an end, I took a step back and reflected on how this experience impacted me as a Public Affairs major at The Ohio State University, as well as me as a person I realized that what I learned and the skills I acquired really set me up for a bright career in the public sector and public policy. I had the honor to intern for Representative Christina Hagan who represents the 50th district of Ohio. Representative Hagan is twenty-two and completing her senior year of college while serving a district of 116,000 constituents. The 50th district of Ohio covers the Canton-Akron area. To my surprise the 50th district is very active with its local government and constituents. I was extremely over-whelmed during my first few weeks in the office. The legislative Aide, Jessica Stepleton made training very quick and simple. I had this idea in my head that I would spend a few weeks training, or doing office work, filing documents and running errands. To my surprise I underestimated the role I would play in House District 50. Both the Representative and Legislative Aide set high expectations for me as their intern. I was thrown right into the chaos that loomed around the office. It took me a few weeks to find my place and feel comfortable on my own accomplishing tasks and assigned projects that I was given. Once I was comfortable and confident in the work I was doing I wanted to prove myself as an intern through hard work and dedication to not only House District 50 but to Representative Hagan and Legislative Aide Jessica. If there was an opportunity where I could go above and beyond I took it. I took advantage of every opportunity presented to me whether it was House session, Committee. Though what I learned to take most advantage were the people I interacted with every day, and the networking opportunities that I was presented with. In the first few weeks of my internship I was hesitant to introduce myself to any State Representatives, attend a Representative’s fundraiser, or other interns. Over this short time I began to seize the opportunity to introduce myself to whomever I happened to cross paths with, I gained a sense of confidence and professionalism that helped me excel in The House of Representatives and in House District 50. This Internship helped me find where my true interests lie in the Public Sector and Public Policy. I gained a better understanding of politics at the state and local level. But most importantly I gained a sense of myself through this internship. I exceeded far more expectations that I had set for myself. I acquired skills that will undoubtedly help me in wherever my hard work dedication and passion for the Public Sector takes me. I interned for an outstanding and respectable Representative and Legislative Aide who at the end of these ten weeks I consider a true mentors and friends. I was pushed to strive for what I wanted to accomplished and I am pleased with my hard work at the House of Representatives as well as what I will take with me as I finish my Undergrad at Ohio State and eventually to my future Career.
A piece I’ve written for my internship portfolio.
I started my internship in the first week of September. I was going in with an open mind and ready to learn. Little did I realize that I would become a part of an effort to restore the State of Ohio by supporting one of the most controversial pieces of Legislation that state has seen in decades. I was familiar with Senate Bill 5 that was introduced by Senator Shannon Jones and was signed by Gov. John Kasich on March 31st 2011. The bill ranged from collective bargaining rights, Union Reform, education and teacher union rights, merit based pay, you name it and it was in the bill. What I didn’t know was how important this issue going onto the statewide ballot on Nov. 9th really was, and how both sides of the issue would clash together to create a media frenzy not only in Ohio, but the rest of the country as well.
Within the first few weeks of my internship I took the time to sit down at the desk and read the copy of the bill on the House website. I became familiar with the bill; I read it twice in a span of two-three weeks. And in that time, I found myself supportive of a bill that many people in Ohio felt was a Union busting, teacher destroying bill (among other outrageous accusations). I was criticized by family, friends, family friends, and professors accused of voting on party lines. I felt like I wasn’t taken seriously by those around me who were in opposition to the bill. I was being “brainwashed” by the Republican Party, I was ignorant and didn’t respect teachers, policeman, and firefighters. I’m following the lies and manipulation of John Kasich and I couldn’t think for myself on the issue. This seemed to be the pattern of criticism of most of the opposition to the bill. But it was the first time I had taken time to research an issue, and understand what each component of the bill was. I believed that the bill would help the State of Ohio get back on its feet. It was not the most beautiful piece of legislation that has been presented, but I truly believe from reading the bill, doing the research of the views on both sides that it would help the State of Ohio. I did not support bill not because of party lines, and not because I interned in the Republican Caucus of the House. I supported Issue 2 because I based my conclusions off facts, reason and research rather than an emotion that seemed to be what much of the opposition was going off of.
I took my support for the bill outside of the office and got involved with various door to door events, phone banks, debates and Issue 2 rallies supporting the Governor. I wanted to educate people about the bill, not tell anyone which way to vote. I knocked on over 200 doors and made around 300 calls during the election. I wasn’t surprised by the less than welcoming reaction that I received from many of the people I interacted with. I was experiencing what it was like to campaign for an election when you’re on the underdog side. I was on the side that was battling the myth factor put out by the opposition. Battling against campaign ads that took lies about the bill to extremes by using images of a firefighter carrying a passed out 4 year old down from a burning building. I quickly learned that campaigning during an election that each side is going to face bumps in the road and despite the predicted outcomes from various news networks and election experts, the effort put forth by the volunteers to get support of Issue 2 was unbelievable. Phone calls and going door to door lasted up until Election Day. The volunteers I worked with deserve the respect for standing up for an issue that many believe was set to fail.
Ultimately, I am thankful I was able to jump on the campaign for Issue 2. I learned that sometimes the power of information and blatantly false manipulative campaign ADS are far greater than presenting the facts in a respectable and clear way for the public. I learned the ropes of working on a campaign and the amount of work, time and dedication that volunteers put forth to ultimately show their belief in an issue to spend 5 hours on a phone calling people and being insulted, yelled at and ridiculed. I learned that you don’t just work on a campaign because you feel like it, you get involved because you choose to use your right as an American citizen to voice your opinion, to try and encourage others to get involved and create a sense of importance no matter what the issue is. It was a long battle with the Union opposition for Issue 2, losing the election 61% to 38%, such an important and historical election in Ohio. The people spoke and they were heard. But the battle to reform Ohio, and get the state back on track hasn’t ended there, the Union opposition may have won the Election, but efforts will not stop here, Reform will eventually come to Ohio. If other states around us are accepting change and reform, the people of Ohio better open their eyes sooner rather than later. We are a broke State, and it needs to be accepted and changed.
A majority of my internship at the House of Representatives, Republican Caucus was focused around Senate Bill 5. I didn’t expect to go into this internship working on a campaign, or getting involved in the election in anyway, although I’m glad with the outcome, I learned far more from the people in The House of Representatives, the campaign volunteers as well as the people I interacted with during the course of the campaign. It was an unforgettable experience being a apart of one of the most controversial and historical elections Ohio has seen in years.
I recently started a new internship at the Ohio House of Representatives, in the office Of Christina Hagan, the youngest state rep in Ohio and was appointed in March of the 50th district near Cleveland. Now I know that sounds SUPER BORING, and I expected to go into this internship knowing I was going to be bored… NOT. (for a political nerd)
I’m blank, I feel like I have run out of emotions left to show…
This year has gone by to fast, but I never want to relive it again
365 days… and 52 weeks later I look back on this day a year ago and the pain is just as strong and real as it was when I got the earth shattering phone call from my dad saying “There’s been an accident Molly, and Charlie didn’t make it”… this is the first time i’ve been able to repeat those words and not break down into a million tears.
I can remember that day exactly, All day I had this strange feeling like something was wrong, but my excitement for my birthday the next day overcame that feeling. I was driving to work at 5:30, and for some odd reason the picture of a car accident came across my mind, i get to work, and I was in a great mood ready for my birthday bonfire the next day and making plans to go out that night to celebrate my birthday… My sister texted me asking when I got off work and then she called my work and I was completely confused I thought maybe just maybe she and the family were surprising me in Ohio until I later found out that my sister was calling to tell my manager something quite different. I get home early from work … I get that call from my dad and I just remember throwing the phone across the kitchen and running outside and collapsing on the driveway and being confused… I couldn’t cry because I didn’t believe it, it wasn’t real, I felt like I had to force myself to cry. It wasn’t real until the next day July 14th I was on a plane flying home to Florida not for vacation or for my family… but because I knew I was going to be planning a funeral for my only brother with my family.. Knowing that my birthday will no longer be the same. I will always be pressed with the memory of walking off the plane and hugging my mom and bawling… because at that moment it was REAL. It was REAL when my two sisters parents and brother n law had to plan his funeral, pick out a casket, and memorial cards, it was REAL when we said our last goodbyes, it was REAL when I visit his stone in the memorial garden, or drive down the road and pass the very spot his accident was
It’s hard to convey how this past year had been for me and my family. Charlie was sort of the problem child, always keeping us on our feet, never a dull moment with him around. And after his accident it felt as if our world as a family became a little more dark… and more dull. I’m not sure how fast it hit any one of us that he was actually gone. I’m not exactly sure that it has hit me that he is really gone, and he will never be coming back into my life. I realized that the past cannot be erased, or forgotten it can only be accepted. I’ve accepted my brothers passing, and I hold dear every single memory I’ve had with him… Because in the end people will leave, and life may never be the same and you feel like your world can never go on without this person but what you have, the most important thing you will keep, and hold on to is the memories. And I am so grateful for each memory I had with Charlie, they were my drive to do well in school, my passion to find what I love and continue with it, and my compassion to know that when life gets really hard, and your knocked on your ass that everyone once in a while you need a helping hand up.
This past year has been the most difficult year to get through that I will probably have to go through in my entire life. I can’t the amount of times I sat and cried in my room praying for him to come back, or fighting back the tears when the entire family was together and Charlie wasn’t there… looking at his facebook and seeing memories from his friends instead of “hey let’s hang outs” Or when on my birthday last year a day after his accident I was sung happy birthday by my entire family and friends and the only person that wasn’t in the room was my brother… But there’s been moments where I knew he was looking over me, and there was times when I knew he pulled some strings with the big man upstairs… I’ve chosen to see the bright side of life after my brothers accident, I can honestly say that I have carried myself, and picked my self up in a way that I can be proud of and esp my big brother would be proud of.
In the last year i’ve found strength where I didn’t think it existed and I found faith where I thought it was lost… It’s a tragedy to loose a loved one so close to your heart, and my life will never be the same without my brother here… but my life is forever different because he is now in my life in a different way, and i’m thankful to have the guardian angel that I do.
And thank you to the people in my life who have stood by me at my worst, and watched me continuously cry, and would go to worlds end to make sure that i’m okay, someone who not only stands by you at the good times, but also stands by you when you are at your worst… they are worth keeping around.
God, I miss you more than anything. Although I know I shouldn’t but i question everyday why this happened to you. Why were you taken from me, and the family. WHY YOU. But i’ve come to terms with it, and i know you are proud of me as your little sister… and if I could tell you anything today if you were still here it’d be… I love you, and i’m lucky to have a brother like you… and even if you don’t know it I look up to your drive to be different, and to question everything and to have this incredible ability to make life look so beautiful even in its darkest times… I love you and miss you every day more than you will ever know… And myabe one day these tears will gradually turn into more smiles…
Your little sister.