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Working on the Hill during the election

As an intern for Congressman Bobby Schilling (IL-17), I have been working [in Washington, D.C.] since September this year. It has been an all around amazing experience that I couldn’t be more thankful for. As a political science major, I wouldn’t want to be anywhere else this semester. I knew I was going to have an opportunity unlike any other this semester, and I haven’t been disappointed yet.

Working for a congressman, especially in DC, is fast-paced and exciting every day. When you add the excitement of this office being one of the closest races in the country, it is difficult to put in words.

A normal day in the office begins by going through the numerous faxes and messages we receive overnight. One of our main priorities is constituent services. As an intern, I deal directly with constituents’ questions, complaints and comments. Yes, we really do read every single letter and email and fax that comes in. Communicating with constituents is something I love because it gives me a chance to work directly with people and help them solve the problems that they encounter in life. I do as much as I can to help them or point them in the right direction. That is really what your congressman is there for, isn’t it?

Seeing as Congressman Schilling’s district, the 17th, is now the district Bradley is in, I feel like I have a direct impact on the Bradley community even more. Sometimes it may seem like politics are overwhelming, and you start to not care after all the political ads, yard signs and debates. But always remember that we are a country with free elections, and your vote does count.

One thought I want to share is how important the local elections are. They are just as important, and often more than, the presidential election. Your congressional, county boards, states attorney, even coroner elections are all very important and will have the most direct impact on your life.

This presidential election grew to be closer and closer in September and October, and it finished very close. President Obama will face a very tough next four years. He faces tough domestic issues such as the economy, unemployment rate and healthcare. But, he also faces a very tough situation in the Middle East. The Middle East is very unstable and Iran is closer than ever to acquiring nuclear weapons. Since he doesn’t have to worry about re-election, President Obama can be a little bolder on his policy decisions, and he will use that as an advantage.


Ben is a senior political science major with a focus on American Politics. He is working for Congressman Aaron Schock this spring and aspires to work for a congressman when he graduates. He said his ultimate goal is to someday run for office.

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