Office of State Senator Heather Steans '85


PICS Organization Name
Office of State Senator Heather Steans '85 - Illinois' 7th State Senate District 

Chicago, Illinois

Organization Description

Senator Steans commitment is to work on legislation and policies that meet the needs of all people in her district working to improve access to health care, affordable housing, public education, and their overall quality of life. She also strives to ensure that the civil and human rights of all citizens are protected and that safeguards are in place to protect our environment. She also works closely with constituents to ensure that they receive state services efficiently and prompt.

Our office consists of Senator Steans, Cathy Smith,Chief of Staff, and Ashlyn Deakin our Legislative Assistant. We also work with a Senate communications and policy staff. Our District office serves the diverse population of Illinois District 7 which includes neighborhoods in the northern part of Chicago and part of Evanston along Lake Michigan west to the Chicago River. Our office space is shared with Congresswoman Jan Schakowsky and the 48th Ward Alderman, Harry Osterman.

Princeton Interns provide a positive presence that helps with research, daily work and outreach events. Often the research they work on becomes legislation.

Internship Description

Each intern will be assigned several research projects on topics that are relevant to the Senator's legislative agenda and are of interest to them. In the past interns have researched budgetary issues, potential gun legislation, ethics and election reform, LGBTQ topics, legalization and regulation of cannabis, including expungement issues, social justice reform, term limits, women rights, climate change and many other topics. Interns will learn to use our email system, grouping and writing replies regarding constituent concerns and comments on legislation.

Interns attend meetings and prepare memorandums, conducting follow up tasks. They also will be require to prepare talking points and joining her at the function. As needed, they will help with casework.
Interns will create and attend outreach events, town halls and coffees creating flyers and participating at events.

The duties in our office expose interns to a wide range of issues in a hands on way where they will meet many different people and work directly with Senator Steans.

This internship is an excellent way to use and improve research skills while working within real life settings that can produce legislation and affect change. Another benefit of the internship is Senator Steans invites people from various fields, agencies, social service groups and companies to speak personally with the interns. This is a great way to meet personally with professionals and learn about their organizations.

Weekly Stipend # of Weeks Required Dates Start Time End Time Housing Provided? Public Transportation? Certificate Requirement? Can be Remote?
$500 10 6/1/21 - 8/6/21 9:30 am 4:30 pm No Yes No Yes

Internship Qualifications

  • Ability to conduct in depth research on a variety of topics
  • Ability to listen and follow instructions
  • Ability to work independently if needed
  • Flexibility
  • Positive attitude
  • Ability to follow through on a project
  • Punctual

** Writing sample required: A research paper**

Additional Info
Our office does conduct outreach events in the evenings and on week-ends. If an intern participates they can take comp time during the week.

** Writing sample required: A paper from the current school year

Former Interns
Katie Goldman '22, Melissa Chun '23, Christian Flores '21, Kiki Gilbert '20, Dana Iverson '20, William Pugh '20

Evaluation Excerpt

The state senator that I worked for organized intern discussions with a number of accomplished individuals who are knowledgable about different social issues affecting the Chicagoland area. It was great to learn from these individuals and the work they have done to promote social justice in Chicago.  -- Katie Goldman '22

Perhaps the greatest strength of this organization was the sheer variety of topics that interns took on. Our research areas were very diverse (environmental issues, property tax reform, cannabis policy, prison reform, and women's rights are a sampling of the issues we researched) and I learned a lot through conducting this research.
—Angela Wu '19

Senator Steans is a very progressive legislator. Her bills and voting record are centered around social change and having a part in research and communication with her district as well as Senator Steans herself was rewarding.
—William Pugh 20

My best work experience was sitting in on a RefugeeOne, a group that helps resettle refugees in our district, meeting on behalf of the Senator. The meeting included legislators, doctors, social workers, government agents, and UN-USA attorneys from the area. It was eye-opening to see the current challenges faced by refugees and how a community can organize to meet those challenges and provide resources. It has inspired me to pursue refugee-related service independently. —Dana Iverson '20