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Public Interest Law Project

Chris Parta

June 01, 2007

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Oregon League of Conservation Voters, Portland, OR

My PILP stipend allowed me the opportunity to work with Sybil Ackerman, Legislative Affairs Director for the Oregon League of Conservation Voters/Oregon Conservation Network to complete the 2007 Oregon legislative session in Salem.

The Oregon League of Conservation Voters (OLCV) is a non-partisan organization with a simple mission: to educate voters about how their legislators vote on the environment and to hold those legislators accountable. During Legislative sessions, OLCV leads the fight to protect the environment in the state legislature, coordinating the Oregon Conservation Network (OCN), a statewide coalition of environmental groups that promotes environmental protection in the Legislature.

As a legislative affairs intern I worked at the capitol in Salem on a daily basis lobbying for OCN’s “priorities for a healthy Oregon,” which included energy independence through renewable fuels, clean and renewable energy legislation, Measure 37 reform, expanding Oregon’s electronic recycling program, closing the mixing zone pollution loophole, preventing any rollbacks of current environmental laws, and other environmental legislation such as expansion of the Oregon’s “bottle bill.”

I had an amazing experience and learned invaluable skills through legislative research, writing documents such as floor letters, and constant contact with legislators and other policy advisors through meetings, committee hearings, and simply walking the halls of the capitol. My PILP stipend allowed me to have these hands on, real world learning experiences and actually be part of one of OLCV/OCN’s most successful legislative sessions to date. It was very exciting having lots of different issues that were constantly changing to work on. I’ve learned that I really enjoy legislative affairs and the excitement of the capitol and may pursue a career in it.

I feel lucky to have had the opportunity to work with such great people and learn so much while at the same time helping causes that I believe in.

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