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National Intern Spotlight: Avantika Krishna

16 July 2012

Where are you from and what school do you attend?
I am from Houston, Texas and will be a sophomore at Trinity University in San Antonio this fall.

What do you study?
I am a Human Communication and Business Administration double major.

What made you want to intern at Project Vote Smart?
Interning at PVS seemed like a wonderful opportunity to not only contribute to the political discussion in this country, but to also immerse myself in the great outdoors. I really appreciate this dedication to providing non-partisan facts in a time where party politics and political rhetoric dominate the airwaves. I wanted to work for an organization that tried to equip all individuals with the truth instead of contributing to the political vitriol that has made this country so divisive. Moreover, the location of the Great Divide Ranch was a definite appeal. I've lived in cities and suburbs for my entire life and wanted to experience a different side of America.

What is your typical day like?
Working in the Legislative Research (Key Votes) Department, I usually start my day off by entering or checking key votes. These are votes on legislation we selected in bi-weekly meetings that are controversial, generate a good amount of press, and demonstrate clear issue positions. Next, I track major legislation through the press in Delaware, Michigan, New Hampshire, and Vermont, bringing up bills and votes at our selection meetings. I also write and check bill summaries, which summarize each piece of legislation selected by the department. We try to make the bill summaries concise, comprehensive, and providing viewers with a clear understanding about a particular bill.

What special projects are you working on?
Currently, I am writing the legislative wrap-ups for Maine and for Alaska. I summarize what happened in each of the state legislatures for this past session, highlighting major legislative trends and detailing controversial bills.

How do you think this internship will help you in the future?
Reading complex and dense legislation and then translating that legal jargon into everyday language requires analysis and patience to ensure that the summary and highlights are not only non-partisan, but also accurately capture the meaning of the bill text's components. I believe these skills I have learned will aid me in law school, and ideally, a career in the foreign service or international realm.

Why do you feel Project Vote Smart is important?
Simply stated, PVS provides a necessary service to the American people. In a time where everything has a slant and opinion is promoted as fact, unbiased information is vital for a participatory and thriving democracy. 

Related tags: Alaska, blog, Maine, Texas

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