My CCIL Summer Fellowship

Written by Sam Roth on August 30, 2017


When I applied for a fellowship at Common Cause, I was excited to have found a summer job that suited my interests so well. I have always been passionate about democratic values and political issues, and I thought working in research for Common Cause would be a great way to put skills I’m developing as a public policy major to practical use. In my time here, I found that working for CCIL allowed me to practice these skills, but also exposed me to new areas of interest, introduced me to a dedicated group of people, and taught me an immense amount about the politics of our state and city.

            As a fellow, I produced background and policy reports on local campaign finance in Champaign-Urbana, the political climate surrounding our issues in Wisconsin, and policing reform in the Chicago Police Department. I also made maps to visualize the amount of money in politics from different sources in Chicago’s city council and updated our website to publicize the work that we do to supporters. It was rewarding to see how this work directly helps to advance Common Cause’s mission and shapes the direction that our campaigns take.

            Beyond the satisfaction of doing meaningful work, my CCIL fellowship benefitted me in ways that will help me in my career and as a citizen. My supervisor was always sure to give the fellows worthwhile assignments and create opportunities for us to learn. Between getting to know the supportive staff within Common Cause, lunches and meetings with successful leaders in local politics and the non-profit world, and larger events featuring important political figures, I was inspired by the personal commitment I saw from so many people to improve our democracy.

This summer, I felt lucky to have so much access to the world of Illinois politics, learning about different career trajectories and areas ranging from organizing to lobbying to policy research. In my work producing fact sheets on the Election Assistance Commission, Voting Rights Advancement Act, Interstate Voter Registration Crosscheck System and Electronic Registration Information System, I learned more in depth about issues of national importance and about how to advocate for them. That experience has encouraged me to look for similar professional opportunities and to be a more conscientious citizen in the future. I would strongly encourage anyone who is excited about participating in our democracy to apply.

Interested applicants should submit a current resume to illinois@commoncause.org

Office: Common Cause Illinois

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