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Legislative Aide - Virtual Internship with Councilmember Greg Tanaka

Our internship program offers students a unique opportunity to experience the work of a City Council office firsthand. The program exposes students to legislative office operations and daily activities of a Councilmember's work. These experiences include working with constituents, conducting outreach efforts, assisting community-based organizations, campaigning, organizing civic events and projects, staffing the office, and other activities.

Many legislators and senior policy staff began their careers as interns. Internships help gain an understanding of our democratic process, as well as provide an excellent opportunity to build networks while serving the community.

Internships are available to all part-time or full-time students. Interns will gain valuable education and work experience through working with our office. All internship work is voluntary and students will not receive any monetary compensation. Depending on their programs, students may also receive different types of school credit for participating.

Qualified candidates will be invited for interviews. Thank you for your interest in this unique opportunity to serve the community. Please complete the application form and submit it to our office along with a resume (cover letter and writing sample appreciated but not required).
I encourage you to apply.

Greg Lin Tanaka
Councilmember, City of Palo Alto

One of the best ways to learn the inner workings of government and your community is through a City Council internship program. The office is looking for bright, self-motivated, energetic individuals who are interested in learning the dynamics of working in a legislative office. This is an active role in the political office of an elected Councilmember vs. a more routine internship in the City of Palo Alto.

Among the chief roles of a Councilmember’s office is keeping the local community connected with the legislative work taking place at City Hall. This is accomplished through community-based events, constituent casework, correspondence and everyday involvement with the community. As an intern, you will be prepared to support staff with special events, constituent services, and special projects related to general administrative duties of the office. The goal is to establish a workable and mutually beneficial relationship between the legislator and the intern. Work can be performed remotely.

Desired qualifications
The ideal candidate must be enrolled in an educational program upon the start of your internship and have an interest in public policy, community organizing, political science, economics, English, communications, public relations or a similar area of study or career path. Candidates must also be able to dedicate a minimum of nine months part-time (~10 hrs/wk) or 3 months full time (~40 hrs/wk) towards this program. Interns must maintain a GPA of 3.6 or higher throughout the course of the internship.

Preferred skills:
  • Excellent written and oral communication skills
  • Strong organizational skills and ability to work with minimal supervision
  • Critical thinking and creative problem solving
  • Ability to manage multiple tasks and competing deadlines simultaneously
  • Proficient in Google Suite/Microsoft Office
  • Campaigning
  • Social media
  • Video creation and editing
  • Active involvement in monitoring Palo Alto City issues, current events and relevant legislation
  • Fluency in other languages in addition to English, a plus

Essential duties include:
  • Assist in research and planning of upcoming events and projects
  • Provide accurate and complete information in response to constituent inquiries and community issues
  • Assist with and maintain office procedures, routine correspondence, telephone inquiries and special projects
  • Develop clear knowledge and understanding of principals, functions, practices and operations of the Palo Alto City Council
  • Assist with responding to a variety of constituent inquiries and issues

Although unpaid, interns receive important benefits like working directly with elected officials, community leaders and local residents on issues and events related to the community. Interns may also qualify for internship credit from their university or school, as well as earn a letter of recommendation from the Councilmember. Depending on college, sponsorships are possible:

If you haven't received anything from us after applying, be sure to check your spam folder for email updates on your application.