So Long, Farewell
September 27, 2018
My internship with Beyond the Bomb/ Global Zero is officially over! Well, sort of… I was offered a part time field organizing position with Beyond the Bomb though the mid-term elections! This means that I get to continue campaigning against nuclear war and weapons from afar, as I return to Cornell. This is such an exciting opportunity for me and I am immensely grateful for the offer.
First, a quick recap of the week before I become too sentimental: This week has been filled with new staff members, finishing up projects before I leave the office, and preparing to return home. I have continued to work on creating call sheets for planned field actions across the nation for Beyond the Bomb supporters to contact their candidates and urge them to support a No First Use policy. Though this information is easy for anyone to obtain, when it is compiled together in an easy to access format for constituents, it increases the chances that they will actually contact their candidates and lobby for the cause. I have also been working on drafting emails to send to other organizations in order to hopefully gain support and earn new coalition partners on the No First Use policy front. I have learned that much of grassroots field organizing is about skillfully networking with others in order to ease the workload of your organizers by creating alliances with like-minded organizations and individuals. If an organization is unable to foster relationships with feasible coalition partners, it is likely that they will be fighting an uphill battle by themselves. Team work makes the dream work, right?
Reflecting on my time spent in the office, I have acquired so many useful skills (spread sheets!!!) and have had the chance to apply what I have learned in the classroom to real life. This experience has been invaluable to me and has helped show me all of the different realms I can apply my degree to in the future. I have really enjoyed learning about field organizing and campaigning during my time here and I truly believe that anyone involved with politics should volunteer or work on at least one campaign during their career. I firmly believe that field organizers lay the foundation for successful movements and elected officials. Field organizers often perform a thankless job that requires a tenacious work ethic from people who stand firm in their political and moral convictions. It has been truly inspiring to work alongside the field team at Beyond the Bomb and learn from them every day as they find new creative ways to engage the public and officials surrounding the issues of nuclear war and weapons.
During my time in the office I also had the chance to take a stab at digital work by learning how to add content to the Global Zero and Beyond the Bomb websites. This is something that I had limited experience with before working here. By learning how to do this work, I had the opportunity to contribute to a massive and ongoing project in the office, which was to launch the new and shiny Global Zero website. I am very proud of being able to help the office cross this finish line because it has been a long time coming and a huge stressor for many. It was super cool to see the final results and see the hours of tedious work put in by members of the digital team finally pay off.
Finally, it has been wonderful getting the chance to live in an unfamiliar place. I have learned how to acclimate to somewhere completely different from where I am used to, find all of the coolest places to eat and explore (mostly eat), and made a couple friends along the way as well.
Some of the most memorable things that I have seen or experienced include participating in protests, visiting the memorials after dark, and walking through the white house. As a fresh face to DC I had the chance to participate in the Shut It Down DC counter protest to the Unite the Right 2 rally. The energy felt from being surrounded by a mass who cares so deeply about an issue as you do is electrifying. It is a feeling that is unmatched to anything else that I have ever experienced. As for visiting the memorials after dark: they are breathtaking regardless of the time of day you visit them, but to visit them in the absence of the thousands of tourists gawking at them in the heat and humidity of a DC summer is sensational. They are aglow and it’s as if you can fully absorb the intent behind these massive sanctuaries, rather than just seeing them as another landmark to check off your list as something to visit. Lastly, I have had the chance to go inside of the White House this past week. It was really neat to walk through different rooms where important dinners and events have been held with world rulers and influential characters throughout our nation’s history.
DC is an amazing city and I hope to return one day. In the meantime, I will have the memories from this extraordinary experience to reflect upon for years to come.
Isabel is a politics major from Mount Vernon, Iowa.