Week 6:
Busy and Eventful

Cornell Fellow in Political Science

Global Zero | Washington, D.C.

September 8, 2018

If any of you have been paying attention to the news, this week has been an eventful one for the United States, to say the least. I feel as though I have whiplash from trying to keep track of the ongoing political events in addition to my responsibilities and assignments in the office. It seems only fitting that a week with a constant stream of current events and surprises would hold true for myself in the office as well.

The flamingo wallpaper in the bathrooms of the office that I am obsessed with.

For starters, Global Zero has had two new interns start this week, I was super surprised because I only knew about one starting. Although our time does not overlap for very long, it is really nice to have people around who are in a similar stage of life as myself, in terms of being in school and still trying to figure out just what exactly what we want to do with our careers and lives.

Selfie on my way to work in DC.

This week the field team has been preparing for Call Your Candidate Week, a national action planned for Beyond the Bomb chapters to participate in as a way to get congressional records on the record discussing No First Use, and hopefully get some to endorse the policy as well. As this event is approaching, I feel like I have been given more responsibility in terms of my assignments and cumulative workload, in comparison to normal. I have gotten to sit in on meetings for planning and preparing for the action and pitch ideas to the team about ways to mobilize volunteers, and they might actually be used, which is really exciting to me! In preparation for the action, I am working on a blog post for Call Your Candidate Week that will go up on the website (don’t worry, I’ll share the link when it goes up). Not only does this help lighten my calling workload for candidate outreach, it allows candidates to hear from their constituents about issues that matter to them.

Though calling your candidate seems like a small and insignificant action, the personal connection made causes a much larger impact than sending an email or signing an online petition for issues that matter to you. I have learned that even if calling a candidate is an easy action, that doesn’t demand much time from a constituent, it is difficult to encourage someone to do so. By taking this fact into consideration, we have been compiling resources for volunteers to use to make the process as easy as possible. I have been helping with this project through providing a phone script and call sheets that include each chapter’s candidates and the contact information for each congressional or campaign office. Thanks to the primary election tracker that has become my best friend over the past month and a half (never in my life did I think that a spreadsheet could be considered so useful until now), most of the candidates’ contact information was already pre-recorded and just needed to be presented in a more accessible and user-friendly format. Since I have gotten to help a lot with the preparation for this action and I am really excited to see how it goes. Hopefully we can get more candidates to endorse No First Use as a result!

Photo evidence that I have been exploring.

In my free time, I’ve been trying to keep myself busy by seeing all that I can see before I leave, because believe it or not, my time here is quickly running out! I am super excited because I recently got a confirmation from the White House, informing me that my request for a visit was approved! This was really unexpected because I submitted the request a couple weeks ago expecting not to get a response because requests are supposed to be made two months in advance. I have also had the chance to catch up with a few Cornell alumni and dear friends who live in the area, which has been really nice because I wouldn’t have been able to see them unless I was out here. I’m sure my remaining time here will be filled with amazing experiences, and I am so grateful for all of the opportunities I have had during the 6 weeks of being here so far.

Isabel Light '19

Isabel is a politics major from Mount Vernon, Iowa.