Legislative Internship-Hawaii

Monday, Nov 14 2016

Common Cause Hawaii
Legislative Internship Description


Title:                     Legislative Intern

Semester:            Spring 2017

Timeline:              January 09, 2017 through May 05, 2017

Hours:                  20 hours/week; flexible schedule

Location:              Meetings held at the Capitol, downtown Honolulu,
                              and Kakaako;
Other work will be done remotely

Compensation:    Unpaid; course credit optional

Supervisor:          Corie Tanida, Common Cause Hawaii Executive Director

Common Cause Hawaii is a state chapter of Common Cause, a national nonpartisan, nonprofit organization that works for openness, honesty, and accountability in government. Common Cause Hawaii aims to protect the political process, elevate citizen participation in the lawmaking process, and hold elected official accountable to the public interest. Common Cause Hawaii offers internships each spring and fall semester. More information can be found at: hi.commoncause.org.


Interns will gain an understanding of the legislative process and Hawaii politics, learn about citizen engagement, and gain working knowledge of current democracy issues at the state and national level. With prior arrangements, interns may gain nonprofit management experience as well.


Through the duration of the internship, participants may be involved in a number of projects which primarily entail monitoring legislative and government meetings, coalition building and community outreach, and research and writing, but may also include public outreach, event planning, and social media messaging and communications.

Legislative and advocacy

  • Monitoring legislative hearings and government meetings
  • Bill-tracking, and hearing-tracking
  • Coalition building and community organizing
  • Soliciting testimony from volunteers
  • Draft memos, testimony, and OpEds

Research and writing

  • Write policy papers with the supervision of the executive director
  • Attend legislative and other government meetings
  • Draft meeting summaries and social media posts
  • Research policy statistics on key Common Cause issues

Public outreach and event planning

  • Help coordinate and staff outreach workshops, booths, and Common Cause events
  • Help Common Cause in outreach and community organizing
  • Find ways to incorporate visual and theatre arts with Common Cause advocacy

Social media and communications

  • Monitor local and national media related to Common Cause and related policy issues
  • Draft press releases, letters to the editor, media advisories and opinion pieces for local media
  • Build and update media contact lists
  • Write content for Common Cause blogs, Common Cause social media accounts, membership emails, and e-newsletters
  • Coordinate response to media and membership inquiries
  • Work with staff to develop strategy, draft content and track metrics for online advocacy campaigns.


  • Graduate students, and recent graduates are preferred. High-performing undergraduates students are welcome to apply.
  • Prior experience in legislative advocacy, policy research & writing, event planning, community organizing, communications, politics or nonprofit organizations preferred, but not required.
  • Interns must have reliable access to internet, and be comfortable with working with social media, Google drive, and cloud-based and online platforms (or be willing to learn and use these tools).


Interns must …

  • Ideal candidates will be motivated to take part in public interest work, have good communication skills, a confident telephone demeanor, and a capacity to work effectively with people of all ages and backgrounds.
  • Not be publicly engaged in partisan politics or attend political fundraisers held by elected officials, political candidates, or political parties.
  • Be able to dedicate 20 hours weekly to the internship.
  • Have reliable form of transportation.
  • Attend meetings in downtown Honolulu and elsewhere on Oahu as needed.
  • Be willing to manage a public social media persona.
  • Show enthusiasm for democracy issues and a commitment to public service.
  • Have strong communication skills, including demonstrated and effective writing and speaking.
  • Excellent proofreading and editing skills is required.
  • Be proficient in Microsoft Word, Excel and Outlook.

NOTE: Common Cause Hawaii operates remotely, with weekly in person meetings. Interns must be able to work independently and virtually.

Contact: For more information contact Corie Tanida, Executive Director ctanida@commoncause.org or (808) 275-6275.

To Apply: Download the application here.

Deadline to Apply: Friday December 16, 2016.

Common Cause is an equal opportunity employer and does not discriminate based on race, creed, color, religion, ethnicity, national origin, party or political affiliation, sex, sexual orientation, gender identity or expression, age, disability, veteran status, marital status, or any illegal or prohibited factor.

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