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An intern’s experience at the Capitol

For everyone who has called the office of Representative Roberts, you have probably spoken with me.

My name is Mary Inglis and I am the 2010 legislative session intern for Rep. Roberts, on behalf of Fort Lewis College. Currently, I am a sophomore at Fort Lewis College majoring in political science, with a minor in pre-law.

The 2010 legislative session has been filled with intrigue, drama and issues that truly affect the citizens of Colorado. On more than one occasion our office has been flooded with calls from constituents voicing their opinions and taking part in the legislative process. In this election year, legislators are scrambling to pass through important legislation before the assembly ends. It has been incredible to take the knowledge I have of the 59th district of Colorado and apply it here at the Capitol.

Learning from Rep. Roberts has been an eye-opening experience, providing access to the inner workings of the state government. Her knowledge and love for the district has been inspirational as I consider a future in politics. It is because of this learning opportunity that I have attended many important organizational meetings, seeing legislation pass through that will change Colorado, and hearing the needs of the people in our communities. It is here that an issue pertinent to the people comes to life. I am not saying that every piece of legislation is good, or every vote has been a bipartisan effort to better Colorado, but the men and women who are elected to represent the people take to heart their responsibility. There have been many late nights and early mornings here at the Capitol as legislators work towards the end of the session.

During the beginning of the session, I had no formal experience working with legislators or in a political setting, but the pace here leaves no room for settling in. From the start, there have been many important pieces of legislation that specifically affect southwest Colorado — issues ranging from cuts in funding to Fort Lewis College to a resolution for southwest Colorado to receive Denver stations have generated a large amount of communication from constituents. These are only some of the many pieces of legislation I have seen Rep. Roberts take action on to better the 59th district.

I am amazed at the amount of attention people pay to what is happening, and the number of calls and e-mails that our office receives every day. All people can access what is happening here at the Capitol, and there is a lot occurring on a daily basis. It is incredibly important for citizens to know the laws that are being proposed for their state. The decisions made here have a direct impact on the lives of the people in Colorado. Legislators really do take the time to consider what their constituents have to say.

These are not easy times, but legislators are working to try and create better policies to assist the people with their needs. This is part of what attracts me to political science and law. Elected officials listen to the people, and then, during the session, combine their knowledge to make the needs of the people a reality through policy. I am grateful for having received this chance to learn more about the Colorado state government with Rep. Roberts. It has been an experience that will leave me with lasting memories and knowledge of what is needed in our communities for the future of Colorado.

It is essential that people communicate with their elected officials to try and create better policies for the state. There has been legislation that I do not agree with, or think is needed currently in Colorado, but these are the individuals we elect to represent our best interests. It is my hope to use the information I have learned here towards furthering my education and using my experience to better serve Colorado.