Interning with the Mexican American Legislative Caucus

My internship at the Mexican American Legislative Caucus was eye opening and taught me a lot about working in professional settings. MALC is an organization that functions as a link to the public and a group of Texas House Members in the Texas legislature. We mostly focus on organizing events that help MALC Members talk to the public directly, tracking bills and providing legislative resources about bills for Members to stay informed, and aiding staff at the Capitol during session. 

Because of the COVID-19 pandemic, these events have largely been virtual, which has made MALC staff have to be creative in engaging the public and getting interest in these events. We have adapted by hosting events using Zoom and Facebook Live where we speak about a myriad of ways members are taking steps to alleviate the fallout of the COVID crisis and bills and topics that are front and center during the 87th session. 

Our first event this session was called “Texas Immigrants Deserve Better” and it focused on the priorities of MALC during the 87th Legislative Session. We were able to invite Spanish translators so that the event could reach as many people as possible. This event had a large focus on the repeal of SB4, a bill that allows local law enforcement to take on the jobs of ICE officials. Repealing SB4 is a huge focus for MALC because it allows for localities to target people that look a certain way without proper training and often without purpose. This manifests in routine traffic stops turning into dangerous scenarios where people can be threatened with imprisonment and deportation if they cannot prove that they are American citizens. 

During my internship, I had the opportunity to work in a legislative context with different offices in the Capitol. I wrote talking points for representatives where I researched different bills and current events which they used for events, donor meetings, and interviews with journalists. I also created a Hearing Request for HB 4561 which was a bill responding to the winter storm in February. The bill basically prohibits distributors of energy and natural gas from selling and distributing natural gas outside of Texas during a natural disaster. For my hearing request, I had to write a letter to the Committee Chair of Energy Resources, make a document explaining why this bill was important, complete some other paperwork, and then submit it to someone at the Capitol for them to file for a hearing. 

Working with MALC, I’ve done an incredible amount of work that I’m excited about and proud of. The work I do serves a greater public good, and I enjoy the service I can provide to my community, especially when it comes to making events that allows me to have a hand in connecting my community to the government officials that represent them. This internship has also been very helpful for me because I’ve learned a lot about navigating professional settings, maintaining and working within small, hard to meet deadlines, and providing advocacy in a way that is productive and effective.

natalie mulin

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *