Political Internships with Impact: Clean Water Advocate
Right now, we’re working to protect Washington’s rivers, lakes and streams. What could be more obvious, right? We need clean water to live. However, corporate agribusiness imposes a heavy – and growing – toll on America’s waterways. According to the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), pollution from agriculture contributes to poor water quality in more than 100,000 miles of rivers and streams in the United States, along with 2,500 square miles of lakes and 2,900 square miles of estuaries. These waters are so polluted that they are unsafe for fishing, swimming, and/or wildlife. This Ag pollution is a leading cause of the dead zones that plague waters from the Chesapeake Bay to the Gulf of Mexico.
Agribusiness pollution is so severe that it is beginning to threaten our drinking water as well. In Ohio, runoff from agricultural operations contributes to a toxic algae bloom in Lake Erie which contaminated the drinking water for 500,000 people around Toledo with cyanotoxins in 2014. In Iowa, nitrate pollution from agribusiness operations have so badly polluted the Raccoon River that Des Moines is now suing three agricultural counties for contaminating its main drinking water source.
So: how do interns with Impact help us confront this massive problem? You’ll help us educate and engage more students and citizens on the issue of clean water. You’ll help us get our issues into the media, build coalitions, organize events and lobby decision-makers. Ultimately, you’ll help us build the kind of public support it takes to make a difference. Impact is looking to hire three interns this semester to work on our clean water campaign with Environment Washington:
- Media and Social Media: The media is the best way to get our message out to the public. Media interns will develop a media strategy for promoting our work to the public, educating the public about our issues, and using the media as a tactic in advocacy. Activities include keeping and maintaining press lists, developing relations with members of the local media, and maintaining visibility for events through letters to the editor, local public service announcements, doing radio feeds, digital organizing, postering, and other visibility. You will also help develop our online presence—creating and posting content on Facebook and Twitter, liking and interacting with other groups & VIPs in the state, and growing our reach to even more people online.
- Grassroots: Grassroots interns are essentially responsible for building people power – our response to the political and financial power wielded by corporate interests and elected officials. You will coordinate our efforts to generate grassroots pressure aimed at targeted decision-makers. You will use tactics such as petition/letter drives, endorsement campaigns, district meetings, organizing lobby days, and generating local media attention.
- Community Engagement and Research: Coalitions are an important part of the people power we will need to take on entrenched political and economic interests. Community Engagement interns will be directly responsible for reaching out to community leaders and other organizational leaders to get them involved in our campaign as coalition partners. You will be in charge of developing and maintaining these relationships through the duration of the campaign. You will also be in charge of research responsibilities including conducting surveys, writing reports or fact sheets that document environmental problems, and releasing reports to the media.
Becoming an Impact intern
We’re looking for students who care deeply about the environment and our democracy, and are ready to make a difference now. As an intern:
- You’ll learn how to analyze problems, push for smart solutions, and build the public support it takes to win
- You’ll work side-by-side with one of our organizers, learning the ropes.
- And you’ll attend briefings and trainings to learn even more about the issues and gain organizing skills
And if you’re thinking you might want to make a career out of solving big problems like polluted water, global warming, or big money in our political system – interning with Impact is one of the best ways to get started. Not only will you get the training and experience you need, but we hire our most talented and committed interns to join Impact as campaign organizers when they graduate: check out weareimpact.org for more information.
If you want to make an impact on our environment, our democracy and our future, apply to be an Impact intern today: http://weareimpact.org/internship-apply.html
Contact Andrew Gage at firstname.lastname@example.org with any questions.
Application period: rolling until 3/15/2016