New Intern On the Block

So far, I have had an interesting experience with the Family Research Council. While I really didn’t know what to expect, I am constantly in awe of this organization. As I do support much of the conservative issues that this organization addresses, I did not realize how religious they were. Family Research Council is a religious-right organization that originated as a think tank. The organization focuses on defending religious freedom, protecting the unborn, and strengthening traditional families. Founded in 1983 by a group of conservative leaders, including Dr. James Dobson, its mission “is to advance faith, family and freedom in public policy and the culture from a Christian worldview,” while its vision “is a culture in which all human life is valued, families flourish and religious liberty thrives.” According to the Right Wing Watch, “between 1988 and 1992, it was the political affiliate of Dobson’s Focus on the Family.” The FRC also hosts conservative events and speakers, such as Values Voter Summit, Watchmen on the Wall, and the Family Policy Lecture series. Currently, the FRC is being led by its President,Tony Perkins, a former Republican Louisiana lawmaker who hosts the daily “Washington Watch” radio program.

Besides being a conservative think tank, FRC works in other capacities as well. FRC’s Policy team is comprised of experts whose task it is to research the religious freedom issues. The Government Affairs department is recognized on Capitol Hill and the Executive Branch. The Communications team has developed the “family voice” for media and through its radio station. FRC also has a Political Action Committee (PAC), as well as lobbying efforts to support like-minded Congressmen and women pursuing the same goals. Lastly, its newest department, Church Ministries, assists pastors by strengthening them with conservative knowledge.

Of course living and working in the D.C. environment, I am constantly doing something fun. However, this week in particular, I took up my fellow interns’ invitation to watch the Game 3 NBA Finals game at one of the girls’ apartments near Catholic University of America. Being here two weeks already, I am quickly adapting to the transportation and took the metro all the way across town to make it to her apartment. There, I had a nice night getting to know them all better. Also, as I was available Thursday night, I metroed again across town to try and play rugby with a local team. Luckily, I found a girl wearing a rugby shirt walking in the vicinity on the campus it was supposed to be held on, and she walked me over to the practice field. It was held on the beautiful Model Secondary School for the Deaf on Gallaudet University’s campus. It was definitely something fun that I had done this week, as it felt good to be running and tackling and playing rugby again. Even though it was my first time showing up for their practice, they let me play with the competitive side when they scrimmaged. While it was practice for a local D.C. 7’s team called the Furies, it was a different experience as I normally play 15’s on ASU’s Women’s Rugby team. Thus, it was a lot more running with less people on the field and less tackling. However, everyone was very welcoming and assisted me in the transition between 15’s and 7’s, and I hope to continue playing with this team more regularly, on Tuesday and Thursday nights.

Lastly, as a new intern in this fast-paced city, I am constantly learning. First, there is the basic rule that we, newcomers, experience of making sure you stand on the right side of the metro escalators and walk, or run, on the left side. Also, I have learned to work with different kinds of people, as I am the newest intern and the one from the farthest west of the country and the one who is not coming from a small private Christian or Catholic school, but the largest school in the nation. Aside from the social environment, I am learning to be patient with myself as I adjust to what my director expects of me. As I had never written a political report nor a bill analysis before, I was eager to take on the challenge. However, even though I had thought I was a decent writer, the red ink scattered across the page thought otherwise. I am learning to write more concisely, summarizing the bills, stating who opposed and who supported them, and providing my recommendation of what FRC should do as well. It has been an interesting experience so far; however, I look forward to learning even more in regards to the writing and the use of State Net with LexisNexis that I will be utilizing soon.

Thanks again for reading and that’s it for this week!

Brigette Maggio

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