Policy Matters Ohio

by justineh

PICS Organization Name
Policy Matters Ohio


Cleveland, Ohio

Weekly Stipend

Public Transportation

Housing Provided

Former Interns
Matthew Martinez '19, Marcia Brown '19, Brandon McGhee '18  

Organization Description
Policy Matters, a non-profit policy research institute, creates a more vibrant, equitable, sustainable and inclusive Ohio through research, strategic communications, coalition building and policy advocacy. We are a mid-sized nonprofit with a staff of 11, and with an office located in both Cleveland and Columbus.

Our work falls into four major and related buckets:

  1. Quality public structures: adequate and fair taxes to support the schools, neighborhoods and infrastructure we all need.
  2. A fair economy: good jobs, worker rights, smart training, and opportunity for all.
  3. Pathways out of poverty: reasonable regulations to help families earn and save, build assets, avoid unfair loans, and build a better future for themselves and their children.
  4. Sustainable communities: investments in transit, renewable energy, conservation and other smart solutions that create jobs and support communities.

We are grateful to PICS, and look forward to partnering with the PICS program. PICS ensure nonprofits, such as ourselves, have access to high caliber interns that are able to master complex tasks that our staff alone could not complete over the span of a single summer. Having extra hands on deck to assist our researchers and policy analysts have often meant the difference between halting a catastrophic policy in the Statehouse, or pushing forward good policy that has the potential to help hundreds of thousands of working Ohioans.

Internship Description
Prior to the start of our intern programs, Policy Matters compiles a comprehensive bank of meaningful projects our interns could select from upon their arrival. These are projects that we as a staff were ready to roll on, could use an extra set of hands on deck, and they ranged in theme so interns could pick a project they both, 1) had interest in; and 2) felt comfortable they had enough experience working with, to ensure their success.

The job description of the intern will be refined based on skill strengths, interests, and goals the intern hopes to achieve next summer. Our Princeton Intern will primarily work closely with our research and policy analyst staff to complete substantive, interesting research, policy analysis, and ultimately reports in one or more policy areas: Tax and budget; Economics; Consumer protection; Asset building; Education; Childcare; and/or Green energy.

Other supporting work, dependent on the Intern's interests could include:

  1. Provide support for our fundraising and resource development areas
  2. Assist in maximizing the effectiveness of our organization’s communications and marketing efforts including: Drafting press releases; Raising media attention for important issues facing working families in Ohio; Designing infographics to convey research findings; and Tracking impact of press/media hits.
  3. Learn how a policy research institute and think tank operates.
  4. Be a vital part of our small, enthusiastic, congenial staff.

Some examples of past projects our interns have completed include:

  • Analyzing the impact of state tax cuts at the municipal level
  • Research on preemption – or how the state interferes with a municipalities ability to enact local laws (minimum wage, local hire, etc).
  • Worked alongside our Outreach Coordinator in his organizing and outreach efforts – assisting with list building and professionally representing our organization at a variety of events.
  • Researching the impact of state funding on public transportation in Cleveland
  • Researching data sources, scrubbing data, and generating charts and graphs for our State of Working Ohio report - which is our largest report of the year
  • Analyzed the impact of public policy on food scarcity
  • Ran data and completed a report on the gender wage gap

Our projects selected for our interns often result in blog posts with our interns as lead authors, or even co-authors on research papers or issue briefs. Our goal is to provide our interns with real public policy and research experience that not only can support their resumes, but will prepare them with the skills and experience needed for success in their future careers.

Internship Qualifications
Requirements for the position include:

  1. High standards and attention to detail;
  2. Desire to explore and elevate public policy solutions that better serve working families;
  3. Ability to write on research topics effectively
  4. Extensive knowledge of Microsoft Word and Excel
  5. Comfort computing basic statistics
  6. Willingness to work a minimum of 24 hours per week in the summer
  7. Ability to work independently and take initiative

Useful, but not required skills include:

  1. Experience in policy analysis and policy research
  2. Coursework in political science, government, economics, or statistics.
  3. Passion for politics and social justice
  4. Desire to learn about or work in the nonprofit sector
  5. Interest in current events
  6. Perspective that sustainability, inclusivity, and equity can enrich our society

**Writing sample required: Four to seven pages on a topic the intern is passionate about. Examples include a policy brief, OpEd, or academic paper

Expected Start Time
9:00 am

Expected End Time
5:00 pm

Required Dates
Flexible between May 2018 - September 2018

Internship Length
10 Weeks

Meets Certificate Requirement

Additional Info
At times there may be supplemental activities the intern may opt to participate in outside of the regular work schedule. This includes community events, conferences, testimony in Columbus, for example. It is very rare that interns are required to attend after-hours events or meetings and we will comp daytime hours when students do activities after hours.

Policy Matters Ohio is located on the eastern edge of Downtown Cleveland in the heart of Asia Town. Downtown Cleveland has experienced significant urban growth at its core over the last five years. Cleveland has also been gaining national recognition for it's exciting nightlife, food scene, and arts & culture offerings. Nearby neighborhoods such as Tremont, Ohio City, and Detroit Shoreway are experiencing a surge of young professionals. Policy Matters is located within biking distance of many of the exciting entertainment options. These neighborhoods consist of a mix of apartments and single-family homes, with many options for leasing and subleasing.

Policy Matters Ohio is located next to a variety of bus lines, including the new Bus Rapid Transit (BRT) line just two blocks away from our office doors. Case Western Reserve University is located on the BRT line. Cleveland State University is also within walking distance to our office. Both of these college campuses hold a significant student population, and therefore subletting opportunities, especially during the summer months when these students leave the city for their respective internships. Policy Matters Ohio has free parking on site.

**Writing sample required: Four to seven pages on a topic the intern is passionate about. Examples include a policy brief, OpEd, or academic paper

Evaluation Excerpt

Policy Matters Ohio works for systemic social change for the benefit of Ohio's citizens. My projects and assignments were all part of reaching that goal in that my work provided important background knowledge to help the staff address policy concerns in their writing. The publications are then sent to state government officials and to the press in hopes of sparking conversation with and raising the awareness of actual policymakers. I feel like my work aided the staff in reaching their goals. 
—Matthew Martinez '19  

To see whether this internship is still accepting applications for 2018, please check the Second Round page.


To read evaluations written by former interns, please contact the
Student Program