Serving the Youngest Member of Democratic House Leadership: Katelyn Wang Receives Special Congressional Recognition from Sara Jacobs
(Editor's note: Katelyn Wang was a recipient of ACA Civic Engagement Scholarship 2023. She interned at Congresswoman Sara Jacobs' office in the summer of 2023)
This summer I completed my internship with Congresswoman Sara Jacobs at her District Office serving California’s 51st District for the U.S. House of Representatives. CA-51 consists of Convoy, Lemon Grove, La Mesa, National City, and represents the district that encompasses our very own Alliance of Chinese Americans!
Sara Jacobs is the youngest member of Democratic House leadership, so her voice as a forward-thinking, ambitious woman on the global stage inspires me. I felt empowered working for her vision of advancing politics stemming from and for the future generation.
My intern experience consisted of fulfilling administrative tasks, connecting with CA District 51 constituents through casework, and advocating at community events. My first week, I completed several Congressional Trainings, including Ethics, Cybersecurity, and Workplace Discrimination Training that allowed me to understand the structured framework of Congressional integrity. I also took on administrative tasks that included completing researched reports on local, county, and nationals news for the Congresswoman plus written statements detailing the accomplishments of California’s 51st District. These reports were further subsidized by my written coverage of Sara Jacob’s legislative, in-district, and Washington DC news. Completing these reports enhanced my knowledge on local politics, as well as my understanding of the connection between pieces of legislation introduced in the house with the everyday needs of constituents.
Sara Jacobs spearheaded numerous relevant legislative actions, such as demanding equal security of reproductive health data, defending transgender rights in the military, calling for increased funding towards SoCal’s polluted waterways, and writing a letter to halt the export of cluster munitions to Ukraine. Following the Congresswoman’s actions allowed me to grasp the inner-workings of Congress and how legislation is executed with equitable representation in mind.
Furthermore, I engaged in casework connecting with district constituents to address complex issues involving federal agencies such as the Department of State, IRS, and the Military. This strengthened my understanding as to how constituents can receive aid from federal agencies plus how a Congressional Office works to enhance that pipeline. I connected with constituents by receiving office calls, where I worked through scenarios of authorizing casework, reporting on updates from federal agencies, logging legislative comments, and streamlining our casework network. I took the opportunity to shadow several cases with a Caseworker at the office, which allowed me to further assist in office tasks and understand how issues with federal agencies could be resolved: in this specific shadowing, I learned about how the Department of State and National Visa Centers process requests and handle constituent matters.
Working at the Office of Congresswoman Sara Jacobs connected me with like-minded leaders equally fascinated by the power of Congress to enact change for our community. I grew my professional and social contacts by connecting with members of the District Office as well as staffers at the Washington DC Office: I held conferences and coffee chats, where I learned about their college experience and work. This was eye-opening to me, as I heard from a diverse array of professionals, such as the Chief of Staff Amy Kuhn in Washington DC and District Office Manager Paola Guzman, who also took the time to talk about her Policy Advising tasks and how she had handled issues at the Mexican Border plus polluted waterways. Hearing these specific stories inspired my interest in further pursuing law in college, as I gained advice on how to network, topics to study further, and, most importantly, how to deal with the uncertainty of a profession in politics.
One of my favorite aspects of this internship has been working with the Congresswoman at community events and at a special Intern Lunch. At this lunch, I had the opportunity to ask the Congresswoman about her pathway to political leadership and how she responds to constituent needs. During the Fourth of July, I marched alongside the Congresswoman at the 51st Annual Scripps Ranch Parade, where I exhibited my support, handed out American flags, and celebrated with the crowd: this experience connected me with the community of CA-51 and our political visions of bettering this district.
Upon completing my internship, I received a Certificate of Special Congressional Recognition issued by Congresswoman Sara Jacobs. Thank you to the Alliance of Chinese Americans, the Congresswoman, the District Office team, and my fellow interns for this amazing experience!