Wednesday, June 24, 2020

Sierra Club Florida Launches First Political Intern Program

Late this Spring, the Sierra Club Florida Political Action Committee launched its inaugural class of Political Interns. This summer, eight interns are embedded in seven campaigns- and we have plans for two dozen interns this fall!

Intern recruitment was done through a variety of channels including college internship web platforms, college political organizations, and Sierra Club members. Political Director Deborah Foote and Suwannee/St. John Political Chair Scott Camil screened all the applications and conducted the candidate interviews.

The interns directly assist state and local candidates running for public office that have been endorsed by Sierra Club Florida. They received training on the basic skills of campaign organizing, education on environmental issues of key importance, and general administrative and reporting responsibilities. Deborah provides ongoing support to the interns- from answering questions on how to locate research on an environmental issue to communicate effectively with campaign staff.

The candidates have been overwhelmingly appreciative of this valuable resource and this intern program provides Sierra Club Florida with an opportunity to build deeper relationships with current and future political leaders.

Meet three of our summer interns!

Elizabeth Pruitt
Elizabeth is a first-year student at Florida State University. She is  working with Patricia Sigman's Senate District 9 campaign. She is a Presidential Scholar at FSU, the foremost undergraduate merit scholarship at this institution. Recently she completed an internship with Environment Florida where she worked to make FSU commit to 100% renewable energy dependence by 2035. She also is a research assistant under internationally recognized Public Administration professor Dr. Richard Feiock studying healthy, sustainable cities and infrastructure.

Glorimar Rivera Zamorano

Glorimar is a Miami resident and a student at the University of Central Florida, majoring in Environmental Studies. She is working to re-elect  Cindy Polo as the Representative from House District 103. Glorimar previously served as an Executive Intern at the Fairchild Tropical Botanic Gardens where she gained valuable professional skills such as educational outreach, data collection, and horticulture management. Glorimar is fluent in Spanish, a valuable asset in a district that is over 75% Hispanic.

Emily Porterfield
Emily is a recent graduate of the University of Central Florida and this fall is heading to graduate school at American University. Emily just joined Julie Jenkins' campaign to win House District 60. A resident of St. Petersburg, Emily first held an internship at the United Nations Association of Orlando where she examined global environmental issues including pollution and habitat destruction. She was then promoted to Executive Director which has allowed her to grow her leadership skills including organizing events, leading chapter meetings, and overseeing the semester interns. Emily also served as an Environment and Global Change Intern at the Office of Global Perspectives and International Initiatives.