This year for the first time, I received something amazing: voter mail.
Having finally reached legal voting age, and inspired by the attention devoted to me as a possible voting citizen, I took the opportunity and voted in my local spring election. As the daughter of a County Board Supervisor, I thought I understood politics and the need for involvement.
However, during my incredible opportunity to be an intern at Wisconsin Family Action (WFA), I have learned so much more. Meeting representatives, hearing testimonies before a committee, and watching the state Senate debate has given me the real-life experience that will forever change my perspective as a citizen.
Some lessons from my experience:
First, Christians are involved in Wisconsin government—Christians who strive to honor God through every decision they make. Some of the most devoted ones are here at WFA. These workers are tireless in their fighting for godly and biblical principles in our laws.
Second, much work happens before we may ever hear about something political in the news. From meetings with legislators, to discussions with drafters while writing a bill, to committee meetings, much work is done behind the scenes by the elected officials and groups such as ours in order to pass any sort of legislation.
Third, I need to stay informed. Simply catching up on what my elected officials are doing around voting time is not enough. In order to be a truly informed citizen, I need to pay attention to what goes on at the Capitol on a daily basis. Instead of simply hearing after the fact that a certain law will affect me, I must find out before so that I can make a difference.
Fourth, I have learned the power of persuasion. This may seem an odd observation, but I have seen it in action. Whether in a closed door meeting or during a committee hearing that is open to the public, informed, persuasive speaking is imperative.
For these reasons and more, I will plan on being more involved in government even after I have finished my internship. I am incredibly thankful to WFA for this experience. Now I not only know how to prepare for mailing hundreds of flyers for voters by myself, but, more importantly, my involvement in and views about my government have been strengthened and changed forever.