PICS Organization Name
Office of State Senator Heather Steans '85 - Illinois' 7th State Senate District
William Pugh '20, Angela Wu '19, Imani Thornton '18
The district office of State Senator Heather Steans, where interns work (although they do travel to Springfield with her if needed, attend meetings out of the office and and her downtown office) serves the diverse constituents of State District 7 which includes neighborhoods in the northern part of Chicago along Lake Michigan and west towards the river.
Her staff consists of a Chief of Staff in Chicago, a legislative assistant and communications staffer in Springfield. The office space is shared with Illinois State Representative Kelly Cassidy, Congresswoman Schakowsky, and the 48th Ward Alderman.
The zip code of her office is one of the most diverse in the country. 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.
Her office also works closely with constituents to ensure that they receive state services efficiently and promptly.
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 in Illinois, LGBTQ topics, the legalization and regulation of cannibis in Illinois, social justice reform, term limits, women's rights, climate change, and many more topics.
In addition, interns will learn to use our emails system, grouping, and writing replies regarding constituents concerns and comments on legislation.
- Interns attend meetings and prepare memorandums, conducting any followup tasks.
- Interns also prepare talking points for events that Senator Steans may attend and participate in, joining her at the function.
- As needed, interns will help with casework.
- Interns will implement and attend outreach events and town halls creating flyers for and participating at the events.
The duties in our office expose interns to a wide range of important issues, in a hands on way where they will meet many different people ,and work one on one with Senator Steans, even traveling with her to Springfield if needed. 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 in the community.
Another benefit of the internship for students is that Senator Steans invites leading people in their fields from various agencies, social service groups and companies to speak with interns. This is a great way to meet professionals and learn about their organizations.
- Strong interest and commitment to state governmental policies
- Excellent writing, research and organizational skills
- Professional Office Demeanor and ability to speak with constituents
- Ability to multi task, be flexible and interact in a fast-paced, changing environment
- Expert Computer skills with Microsoft Word and Excel
- Ability to work independently when needed.
Expected Start Time
Expected End Time
6/11/18 - 8/17/18
Meets Certificate Requirement
Based on needs of intern our office would try to connect them to housing referrals.
There are weekend and evening events that interns participate in. If they do work those extra hours, they can adjust their weekly hours.
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