One of the best ways to learn the inner workings of government and your community is through a City Council internship program. The office is looking for bright, self-motivated, energetic individuals who are interested in learning the dynamics of working in a legislative office. This is an active role in the political office of an elected Councilmember vs. a more routine internship in the City of Palo Alto.
Among the chief roles of a Councilmember’s office is to keep the local community connected with the legislative work taking place at City Hall. This is accomplished through community-based events, constituent casework, correspondence and everyday involvement with the community. As an intern you will be prepared to and provide support to staff with special events, constituent services, and special projects related to general administrative duties of the office. The goal is to establish a workable and mutually beneficial relationship between the legislator and the intern.
The ideal candidate must be enrolled in an educational program upon the start of your internship and have an interest in public policy, community organizing, political science, economics, English, communications, public relations or a similar area of study or career path. Candidates must also be able to dedicate a minimum of nine months part-time or 3 months full time towards this program.
Essential duties include:
- Excellent written and oral communication skills
- Strong organizational skills and ability to work with minimal supervision
- Critical thinking and creative problem solving
- Ability to manage multiple tasks and competing deadlines simultaneously
- Proficient in using Google Docs/Microsoft Word and Excel
- Social media
- Video creation and editing
- Active involvement in monitoring Palo Alto City issues, current events and relevant legislation
- Assist in research and planning of upcoming events and projects
- Provide accurate and complete information in response to constituent inquiries and community issues
- Assist with and maintain office procedures, routine correspondence, telephone inquiries and special projects
- Develop clear knowledge and understanding of principals, functions, practices and operations of the Palo Alto City Council
- Assist with responding to a variety of constituent inquiries and issues
- Fluency in other languages in addition to English, a plus
- Transportation and other expenses are the responsibility of the intern.
Although unpaid, interns receive important benefits like working directly with elected officials, community leaders and local residents on issues and events related to the community. Interns may also qualify for internship credit from their university or school, as well as earn a letter of recommendation from the Councilmember. Depending on college, sponsorships are possible: https://sig.stanford.edu/fellowships/