2014 NPI Fellow
Major/Minor(s): OMIS and Spanish/International Business
Hometown: Mill Creek, WA
Interests/Hobbies: hiking, guitar, piano, geography, aviation, church ministry
Give a brief summary of your responsibilities/tasks in the internship:
I had the honor of serving Legislative District 3 of San Jose - Sam Liccardo as a Council Assistant. My everyday tasks varied from attending Rules and Open Government Committee Meetings to walking and talking to constituents throughout District 3. Occasionally I used my Spanish to advertise for neighborhood council meetings, while other times I put my boots on and distributed trash bags and granola bars to needy people in the Tully Road homeless encampment. I literally had to be ready for anything.
How do you think you made positive contributions to the department/organization?
My big project was undertaking our district's participation in the citywide Great American Litter Pick Up for Earth Day 2014. I was able to coordinate with city leaders and nearly 100 volunteers to aid in garbage pickups in the Gardner and Selma-Olinder neighborhoods. The event was a huge success! I also was able to explore inefficiencies in the city's permitting and planning department. I recognized how several efforts were already being made within the city to increase inefficiencies. Although I wasn't able to redesign the system, I was able to do valuable research and look into more efficient permitting and planning systems around the country.
What was the most beneficial aspect of this experience for you?
Overall, this experience was most valuable to me because it gave me a candid behind the scenes perspective of any city's largest advocate and hindrance for aid to the poor, underserved and marginalized. I was able to witness the ways that cities pass legislation and leverage their resources to either help or not help people who need it most. Although I am not pursuing a political career, I know that being a man of service will always play an important role in my business career. While many corporations make social sustainability a company priority, many do not. Now that I have an insider’s perspective on how government works, I know I can be an advocate or liaison between government and corporations.