WashPIRG Policy and Organizing Internships

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We all want to make a difference, but too many internships require students to leave their conscience at home. At WashPIRG, our interns can put their ideals front and center.

That’s because interns with WashPIRG work to achieve concrete, practical changes that benefit the public.

This year, we are looking for interns to work with us on the following campaigns:
• Democracy for the People: Improving our democratic process by getting big money out of politics and working to increase access and participation in the electoral process through voting reforms.
• Consumer Protection: Protecting consumers from unfair fees and practices.
• Get the Lead Out: Promoting public health by getting lead out of drinking water in schools.
• Campaign to Save Antibiotics: Organizing to stop the overuse of antibiotics on factory farms.

Our staff of attorneys and advocates provide interns excellent training by assigning them significant and meaningful responsibilities. Here’s our approach:

• Work side by side with the staff of WashPIRG, focusing on real problems that affect people in their daily lives, whether working to get rid of fossil fuels or building coalitions to get lead out of school drinking water.

• As a WashPIRG intern, you help our staff develop a program around one or more of these issues. You help study the problem and then break it down into a manageable project, one in which the outcome can be influenced by the right combination of careful research, a smart political strategy, and demonstrable public support.

• While much of WashPIRG’s work centers on the legislative arena, WashPIRG takes issues to whatever forum offers the best hope of winning concrete results. We file lawsuits. We testify at administrative hearings. We sponsor shareholder resolutions. We do whatever it takes to get things done.

Internship Overview and How to Apply

• Candidates must commit to 10-20 hours per week during school and 15-30 hours week over the summer. Schedules are flexible and interns can work anytime during our normal work hours of Monday-Friday, 9am-6pm. Interns must work in our Seattle office.
• All years and majors are welcome to apply and there is no minimum GPA. Ideal candidates will have strong communications skills, an interest in social and political issues, and previous campaign experience.
• Send an email to Bruce Speight at bruce@washpirg.org stating your interest. Include your resume, a compelling cover letter, and the campaign issues that interests you.


What qualities and abilities does being an WashPIRG intern require?
• A strong commitment to public interest issues.
• Strong organizational abilities.
• The ability to engage others, whether one-on-one or in a group.
• The ability to think strategically.
• A willingness to engage in creative conflict, to persevere, and to lead by example.
• Strong writing and communication skills.

We have WashPIRG internships available for undergraduate and graduate students in law, political science, public policy, sociology or environmental studies, but students in any area of study may apply. Intern supervisors provide ongoing training. Previous campaign and/or advocacy experience is a plus.


Our approach requires each intern not only to develop expertise in public policy, but also to become skilled in the political process. Here are some areas you may develop expertise in:

• Devising an effective strategy for a political campaign. Whether a WashPIRG proposal becomes public policy is often a matter of how the problem is framed for public debate. You will work to identify shifting reasons why the public supports clean energy and how best to communicate that across the state.

• Conducting investigative research. Facts, figures and examples are the bedrock of any intelligent public policy debate. As a WashPIRG intern you will pull together the research necessary to illustrate a problem and demonstrate the viability of the proposed solution.

• Media outreach. WashPIRG interns work to get our issues and opinions covered by the media, through news releases, press conferences, interviews, "op-eds," online, and more.

• Organizing political support. WashPIRG interns help to broaden the constituency for our proposals, assisting in building, organizing, and managing a coalition of support that works to sway decision-makers.

How To Apply

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