Democracy Fellow – Congress Watch

Democracy Fellowship – Fall 2022

Help Pass Legislation to Advance Voting Rights, Curb Big Money in Politics & Combat Corruption with the Declaration for American Democracy

Housed in Public Citizen’s CongressWatch Division, the Declaration for American Democracy is an anti-oppression coalition of over 240 organizations working together to make the promise of democracy real for all of us.

We believe our democratic systems, institutions, and leaders must reflect, represent, and respect the diverse, multicultural nation that we are and have always been. For democracy to work for us, it must include all of us. As America’s diversity continues to grow, so must our democracy. And in order to make progress on issues Americans care about, we must have a democracy that is representative and responsive to the American people.  

We are seeking a Fall Fellow to help advance the mission of the coalition: to pass transformative democracy legislation on a national level. Fellows on our team will work about 20 hours a week for 8 weeks.

Fellows will have the opportunity to gain experience both in national advocacy efforts as well as to get in depth training in community organizing so that they can organize their own communities around sweeping democracy reform. 

For years, we’ve seen our democracy and the power of the people diminish each day, with legislatures across the country ramping up voter suppression efforts targeting communities of color and corporate and big monied interests corrupting our politics. We saw this culminate on January 6th in the violent attack on our Capitol, but our democracy held – this time. We have an opportunity to rebuild and transform our democracy for the better, into one that truly represents the American people, join us!

Responsibilities include but are not limited to:

  • Attending regular weekly training sessions and team meetings
  • Working with activists around the country, including locally and in key states, to get them involved in strategic campaigns;
  • Organizing campus and/or local community with skills gained through training
  • Building a coalition of local allies in democracy work
  • Meeting directly (or virtually) with members of Congress
  • Planning and hosting events (virtual or socially distanced) in support of democracy reform
  • Develop issues and/or organizing expertise through dedicated assignments;
  • Conduct social media and online outreach to build campaign visibility and assisting with press outreach and events;
  • Research and write on current topics regarding our work.

Qualifications:

  • Passion for democracy reform
  • Interest in learning more about organizing (no prior organizing experience is required)
  • Ability to be both a strong team player and to be self driven in your work
  • Strong communications skills a plus

To Apply

To apply for a paid internship, please send a resume and a short cover letter (no more than 500 words) to christine@dfadcoalition.org by July 24th at 5pm/ET. In acknowledgement that many internships are unpaid and therefore are only available to students from higher income levels, we prioritize applicants that demonstrate financial need. To do that, please outline your need for financial support in your cover letter. If you have completed the FAFSA, please also submit a copy of your Student Aid Report (SAR). The pay for this position is $16.10 per hour. 

DFAD is committed to a work environment based on equal opportunity and a value of a diverse and inclusive workforce. To this end, DFAD welcomes and encourages applicants of color, people in the LGBTQ+ community, those of varying socioeconomic status, and women to apply.

April 2022 Public Citizen Letter to Jamie Dimon

Final Letter to Jamie Dimon

Mr. Jamie Dimon
Chief Executive Officer
JPMorgan Chase
270 Park Ave
New York, NY 10172

CC: Darren Woods, ExxonMobil; Ryan Lance, ConocoPhillips; Michael J. Hennigan, Marathon Petroleum; Brian Moynihan, Bank of America; Alfred F. Kelly Jr., Visa

 

April 4, 2022

Dear Mr. Dimon,

We, the undersigned groups, write to you with deep concern over your recent meeting with the Biden administration on a domestic energy “Marshall Plan.”

A domestic energy Marshall Plan is a fine idea if it drives real solutions to American and European energy needs and the dependence on Russian oil and gas—those solutions are the deployment of energy efficiency and renewable energy sources. By contrast, your proposal would do nothing to ease current problems and would only compound them in the long term. It would further lock us into energy sources that are overly expensive and subject to wild price swings, and that exacerbate rather than ease global conflict.

Oil and gas are fueling Vladimir Putin’s war machine. Fossil fuels account for 40% – 50% of Russia’s government budget. As companies around the world divest assets from, close stores, and pause sales in Russia, JPMorgan Chase announced that it is pulling out of operations in Russia, though in recent years it has stood out as the largest funder of Gazprom among the world’s 60 biggest banks. Gazprom is Russia’s state-owned energy company, and its profits have paid for the tanks and missiles being used to massacre Ukrainians. Between 2016 and 2021, JPMorgan Chase provided Gazprom with nearly $4.7 billion in financing.

Lobbying for fossil fuel expansion, including expanded liquefied natural gas (LNG) facilities, pits JPMorgan Chase’s short-term, profit-driven interests against the safety and stability of a world facing an unfolding climate crisis. Your proposal is not only a bad idea for the climate, it is financially unsound and risks further expanding the market’s “carbon bubble.” As the leading banker of fossil fuel infrastructure worldwide, JPMorgan Chase stands to reap significant profit from new fossil fuel projects proposed in the fallout of Russia’s unprovoked and unjust invasion of Ukraine. Such self-interest in a time of war has a name: war profiteering.

Your continued bankrolling of the fossil fuel industry and request for oil and gas expansion disregard the immense human, ecological, economic, and societal costs our world already faces as a result of climate change. Your request for an expansion of LNG facilities is at odds with your commitments to align with the Paris Agreement and achieve net-zero financed emissions by 2050. The International Energy Agency (IEA) has stated that “In the NZE [net zero scenario], no new [gas] fields or export projects are developed.” Moreover, investments in fossil fuel expansion will relieve nothing in the short term, and lead to more consequences for financial markets in the future. It will take years to build LNG export terminals and even longer to have a practical impact on energy prices. New research suggests wealthy oil and gas producers, like the U.S., must phase out all fossil fuel production by 2034. Further, the IEA NZE makes clear that developed-country electricity systems must be fully decarbonized by 2035 – meaning that financing the expansion of a dying industry via development of new LNG terminals will lead to pre-stranded assets, adding additional strain to our financial systems.

The IEA’s 2021 Roadmap to Net Zero clearly states that new coal, oil, and gas development is not aligned with a net zero by 2050 pathway. As a consequence, investment in new development is not aligned either. It is imperative that fossil fuel production peak immediately, followed by a swift and managed decline of all fossil energy. The Biden administration and private sector should be driving investments in a renewables-only plan that reduces absolute emissions, not heeding your call for more gas and unproven technologies like carbon capture.

In response to your commitments to align your financing activities with a 1.5°C pathway, you stated: “There must be collective ambition and cooperation by business and government to tackle climate change. Setting our Paris-aligned targets is an important step toward accelerating the transition to a low-carbon economy and meeting the goals of the Paris Agreement.” You also stated your commitment to reducing emissions, despite your firm providing $382 billion in financing to the fossil fuel industry since the Paris Agreement was adopted.

Humanity is at a momentous crossroads. As this year’s Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change report concluded, any further delay in global action to mitigate climate change “will miss a brief and rapidly closing window of opportunity to secure a liveable and sustainable future for all.”  A transition away from fossil fuels is inevitable. It’s time to correct your course and stop digging JPMorgan Chase’s own stranded-asset hole.

Mr. Dimon, investing in coal, oil, and gas will only entangle us further in fossil fuel-driven wars and compound ecological and economic instability. A swift transition to renewable energy is the only way for the U.S. to be truly energy independent. We implore you to back up your climate commitments with support for a rapid decarbonization of our economy that will lead our world towards a more promising future for all.

Sincerely,

Amazon Watch

Center for International Environmental Law

Connecticut Citizen Action Group

CDP – Energy and Environmental Initiative

Citizens for Clean Air and Water in Brazoria County

Clean Energy Action

Climate Action Rhode Island – 350

ClimateMama

Earth Action, Inc.

Empower our Future

Extinction Rebellion San Francisco Bay Area

Friends of the Earth US

Frontera Water Protectors

Green America

Greenpeace USA

Indivisible TXLege

New Mexico Climate Justice

Nuclear Information and Resource Service

Port Arthur Community Action Network

Positive Money US

Public Citizen

Rainforest Action Network

Revolving Door Project

Save Rio Grande Valley

Sierra Club

Sunrise Project

Texas Campaign for the Environment

Texas Solar Energy Society

Third Act – Virginia

Turtle Island Restoration Network

Waterway Advocates

Youth Climate Finance Alliance/Future Coalition

350 Conejo / San Fernando Valley

350 Hawaii

350 Seattle

350 Silicon Valley

350NYC

Download the pdf of this letter here.

Letter to President Cyril M Ramaphosa

Commodity Futures Trading Commission Letter on Speculation

Download a copy of the letter here.

March 24, 2022

 

Chairman Rostin Behnam
U.S. Commodity Futures Trading Commission
1155 21st Street, NW
Washington, DC 20581
Dear Chairman Behnam,

Energy, metal and agricultural commodities are once again experiencing significant price and trading volatility.  Wild price swings have stressed our markets during an unprecedented stretch of climate-induced severe weather, a global health pandemic, and war in Europe. We value your leadership and commend Commission staff for their dedication and perseverance during these calamitous times.

Commodity markets are perceived to maximize efficiencies for price discovery, allowing producers and end-users alike to hedge against price risk. But reliance on these markets during climate change-induced storms and war-related upheaval is testing limits on effective price formation. It is difficult for markets to work efficiently when extreme events render market fundamentals dysfunctional.

The past two years have seen an extraordinary surge in commodities market volatility. From WTI oil’s April 2020 nosedive into negative territory after speculators panicked over the possibility that counterparties could demand physical delivery upon expiry to the early March spike above $120 per barrel to the collapse of global nickel trading―extreme weather and other disruptions are exposing flaws in market design and operations. The resulting high prices are driving punishing inflation harming American families and small businesses already suffering from economic hardship under the COVID pandemic.

We offer four suggestions to address recent commodity market challenges:

First, the Commission must unambiguously reject any bailout for commodity traders. Earlier this month, a lobbying group representing some of the largest traders in U.S. markets―including BP, Shell, Vitol and Trafigura―wrote to European officials demanding government financial intervention.[1] The traders’ gripe is that high and volatile commodity prices are triggering significant margin calls, resulting in a cash liquidity crunch. But this development is proof that regulations are working, as the margin requirements ensure the integrity of clearinghouses. Challenges with traders’ access to credit due to margin requirements won’t result in energy not being produced or delivered, but it will ensure the solvency of the market.

Second, the Commission should ensure that automated trading strategies are not disrupting energy markets. When the Commission last examined the issue three years ago, it determined that 80% of energy trades were being executed through automation.[2] It is crucial for the Commission to determine the role automated trading has in contributing to excessive speculation.[3]

Third, the Commission should produce status report on whether recently-enacted position limits require strengthening. Nearly a decade after Congress ordered the establishment of position limits to “prevent excessive speculation” in commodity markets,[4] the Commission finalized the rule in October 2020―over the admirable and articulate dissent of now-Chairman Behnam for the rule’s failure to be strong enough.[5] The finalized rule has resulted in exchanges implementing aspects of the limits prior to the initial, formal phase in beginning in January 2022. Section 719(a) Dodd-Frank requires a study on the effects of implemented position limits, which is essential to determine whether the limits need strengthening, in light of evidence of excessive speculation in today’s commodity turmoil.

Fourth, enhanced public data reporting in the Commission’s Commitment of Traders reports is necessary to ensure fully transparent, competitive markets.[6] Bolstering the level of trader-level detail and augmenting price reporting information to the public will improve commodity market operations.

Mr. Chairman, we appreciate your consideration, and thank you for your leadership.

Best,

Tyson Slocum, Energy Program Director
(202) 454-5191
tslocum@citizen.org
Member, CFTC Energy & Environmental Markets Advisory Committee, and
CFTC Market Risk Advisory Committee

Download a copy of the letter here. 

[1] https://twitter.com/JavierBlas/status/1504182020649504775

[2] Impact of Automated Orders in Futures Markets, Market Intelligence Branch, Division of Market Oversight, U.S. CFTC, March 2019, www.cftc.gov/sites/default/files/2019-03/automatedordersreport032719.pdf

[3] Gillian Tett, “Beware the algorithms driving up oil prices,” Financial Times, February 10, 2022, www.ft.com/content/6e24689d-679f-4b45-ac73-dc1ace2ff69e

[4] Section 737(3)(B)(i), Position Limits, Dodd-Frank Wall Street Reform and Consumer Protection Act, www.congress.gov/111/plaws/publ203/PLAW-111publ203.pdf

[5] www.cftc.gov/PressRoom/SpeechesTestimony/behnamstatement101520c

[6] www.cftc.gov/MarketReports/CommitmentsofTraders/index.htm

Democracy Fellow – President’s Office

Make Sure Students Get Out and Vote!

2022 is a very important election year in the United States..This is a critical moment for our democracy, and we must make sure that all Americans are able to make their voices heard.

We are looking for Campus Leaders to organize with us in key states – Arizona, Georgia, Michigan, Nevada, New Hampshire, North Carolina, Pennsylvania, Wisconsin – to help ensure that our elections function effectively this year. (Don’t worry if this would be your first time organizing, we provide training and support!)

This is an expansion of our very successful Fall and Winter 2020 Protect Democracy program, in which more than 60 amazing campus leaders worked with us on activities, including:  

  • Learning key organizing skills and put them into practice on your campus!
  • Helping students register to vote and navigate local voting procedures
  • Ensuring students successfully vote
  • Recruiting poll workers
  • Supporting election protection programs to ensure voting runs smoothly.
  • Working with local election officials and campus leaders to distribute voting information to students and make sure that voting is accessible.

Responsibilities:

You’ll be working closely with our campaign leaders and state-based organizations to support voter engagement and ensure that the election functions effectively. Your work could include:

  • Making class presentations about voting deadlines, opportunities to help as poll workers and other key election activities.
  • Distributing voting information on your campuses and gathering pledges to vote.
  • Reaching out to professors, your campus administration, student government, campus media and other student leadership to ask for their assistance in getting voter information out to students.
  • Building a relationship with your local election officials to make sure that students have accessible voting locations and information that they need to vote.
  • Helping to organize a statewide training for other students to learn how to get out the vote on their campuses.
  • Collaborating with organizations on your campus to conduct these activities.
  • Supporting the work of non-partisan state-based organizations who are helping to ensure that everyone has a chance to vote safely in this year’s elections. 
  • Conducting social media and online outreach to build campaign visibility and assisting with press outreach and events
  • Working 12-15 hours/ week on these activities.

This is a chance to truly play an active role in making an impact in our nation’s history!

To Apply:

Our campus program will run from now through the general election in November.  We are asking that you apply for the spring program which will run from March through the beginning of May and we will give you a chance to renew your application for the summer and fall.

Please send your cover letter and resume to Jonah Minkoff-Zern at jzern@citizen.org by July 24.  

 

Public Citizen offers unpaid fellowships (credit can be arranged) and paid fellowships ($16.10 an hour) for students with financial need.

If you are applying for a paid fellowship, please include an essay outlining why you want to work at Public Citizen and any other information about you that you wish to have considered, including your need for financial support (500 words or less). If you have completed the FAFSA, please also submit a copy of your Student Aid Report (SAR).

We are currently accepting applications, and applicants are encouraged to apply as soon as possible to be competitive.  Public Citizen is an equal opportunity employer.  women, people of color and LBGT candidates are strongly encouraged to apply.

Ahead of UNGA and Covid Summit, Nearly 60 Civil Society Organizations Call Upon Biden to Take Action

Dear President Biden,

We are writing to you ahead of the 76th session of the United Nations General Assembly (UNGA) to urge that you take on a global leadership role and fulfill your promise of addressing COVID-19 around the world. We understand that during the UNGA, you will be hosting a global vaccine summit with participation of other world leaders where you will be announcing an admirable target of 70% of the world’s population to be vaccinated within the next year. Reaching this goal, however, will be impossible unless you and other world leaders take action to ensure equitable vaccine distribution.

While it is commendable that your administration has procured and distributed COVID-19 vaccines to other countries in need, we cannot “donate” our way to safety. The massive global shortage of highly effective vaccines can only be addressed by increasing production. As of this week, just over 3% of people in low-income countries, many of whom are also facing devastating surges from deadly variants, have received any dose of COVID-19 vaccine. COVAX, the global program intended to secure and distribute doses for low- and middle-income countries is failing. Recently, COVAX cut its forecast for doses available in 2021 by a quarter, driven in large part by wealthier nations stockpiling excess doses in lieu of providing these vaccines and funds to this global program. As your administration considers distributing third booster doses to a broader population of Americans, it must not ignore the equity considerations of such a policy in further delaying vaccine access to people in the Global South, many of whom have yet to receive even a single dose. Moreover, such an approach may also only further fuel the emergence of even more virulent variants, which thrive in unvaccinated populations.

To truly make America the world’s “arsenal” of global vaccine access, we ask that you immediately deliver on the following policies:

  • launch an ambitious global vaccine manufacturing program with other countries to help produce billions more highly effective doses within one year and support a dedicated financing line item in the Build Back Better Act committing billions of dollars to this effort;
  • use your full authorities to require the few firms with monopolies over effective vaccines, diagnostics, and therapeutics to transfer technology and production know-how to manufacturers in the Global South;
  • set an example for other countries by reallocating excess doses available to countries in the Global South via COVAX or regional procurement mechanisms; and
  • work with allied countries on a final text to speedily enact a temporary, emergency waiver of certain World Trade Organization’s (WTO) Agreement on Trade Related Aspects of Intellectual Property (TRIPS) rules that create barriers to widespread production of COVID-19 health technologies including vaccines, diagnostics, and treatments.

 

Attached are further details of why these four steps are critically important towards realizing the goal of vaccinating 70% of the world’s population within the next year. We also outline the tremendous capability you have to carry forward these policies to end this pandemic. Your leadership on these above steps is urgently needed to move the world closer to a future where the pandemic truly ends for everyone, everywhere. At the UNGA, we hope that you will not just offer more promises for these urgently needed policy measures, but that you will take on a global leadership role in implementing them. Short of such action, the pandemic will continue its devastation, driven by a lack of political will to truly engage in a global, collective effort to protect everyone, everywhere.

Sincerely,

 

 

Action Corps National Advocacy Center of the Sisters

of the Good Shepherd

Africa Faith and Justice Network National Nurses United
AIDS Healthcare Foundation Network Lobby for Catholic Social Justice
Alianza Americas New York Doctors Coalition
American Federation of Teachers

Connecticut

New York Trade Justice Coalition
American Jewish World Service New York Trade Justice Coalition
American Medical Student Association Oxfam America
Australian Fair Trade and Investment

Network

Plateforme de la Diaspora Tchadienne en

America

Bangladesh Krishok Federation Progressive Doctors
BARAC UK Public Citizen
CASA Rise and Resist
Center for Popular Democracy Salud y Farmacos
Congregation of Our Lady of Charity

of the Good Shepherd, U.S. Provinces

SECTION27
Doctors For America Service Employees International Union
Drugs for Neglected Diseases initiative

(DNDi) North America

Showing Up for Racial Justice NYC
Faith for Safe Water Social Security Works
Fondation Eboko Society for International Development
Foundation for Integrative AIDS Research SODECA- KENYA
Free the Vaccine for COVID-19 Sojourners
Global Health Partners Sukaar Welfare Organization
Health GAP (Global Access Project) The Episcopal Church
Hope for Future Generations The United Methodist Church – General Board of Church and Society
Human Rights Watch Third World Network
IFARMA Foundation Treatment Action Group
I-MAK Unity Fellowship of Christ Church NYC
Interfaith Center on Corporate Responsibility Universities Allied for Essential Medicines
Maryknoll Office for Global Concerns VOCAL-NY
Médecins Sans Frontières USA Washington Office on Latin America
Metro New York Health Care for All World Renew

Public Citizen Urges Public Utility Commission to Suspend Shutoffs

Public Citizen has signed onto a letter urging the Public Utility Commission of Texas to order the suspension of utility shutoffs in the state. Many utility companies have suspended shutoffs, but not all. The letter to the PUC is copied below.

————————————-

March 20, 2020

DeAnn Walker, Chairman
Public Utility Commission of Texas; ChairmanWalker@puc.texas.gov

Arthur C. D’Andrea, Commissioner Public Utility Commission of Texas; CommissionerDAndrea@puc.texas.gov

Shelly Botkin, Commissioner
Public Utility Commission of Texas Commissioner; Botkin@puc.texas.gov

Dear Chairman Walker and Commissioners D’Andrea and Botkin:

States, cities, utility commissions, and utilities around the nation are demonstrating leadership and compassion by keeping customers’ lights, gas, phone, internet, and water on during the coronavirus emergency. We write to urge the Public Utility Commission of Texas (PUC or Commission) to issue an order prohibiting utility disconnections during this unprecedented crisis. Continued access to hot water, information, and electricity will be absolutely critical to slowing the spread of COVID- 19.

NAACP’s “Lights Out in the Cold” report highlights the serious and sometimes tragic impact of utility shut-offs in low-income communities.1 Low-income communities, communities of color, and vulnerable persons, including those who are sick, disabled or elderly, pay the highest proportion of their incomes to energy and they are most vulnerable to disconnection. “Whether it is extremes in heat, extremes in cold, or the need for electricity to power life saving devices like respirators or medicines requiring refrigeration not to mention just providing light, electricity/heating/cooling is essential, not just for quality of life, but also for maintenance of life!”2

The secondary effects of this national crisis will have the greatest impact on low-wage earners who are already at risk for falling behind on bills. Many low wage hourly earners will not receive paychecks because of business closures or because they do not have paid sick leave. Utility shut- offs are devastating and would be even more severe in the midst of this public health emergency. It is vital that people have access to hot water in order to wash their hands.

The Energy and Policy Institute (EPI) is tracking data on suspensions of disconnections.4 Government bodies have ordered disconnection suspensions statewide in Connecticut, Louisiana, Massachusetts, New Jersey, New York, Wisconsin, Ohio and Wisconsin. Cities include Austin, Minneapolis (for its water utility), Seattle, Statesboro (GA), and Tallahassee. Many national and multi-state investor-owned utility companies have voluntarily suspended disconnections, including American Electric Power, Dominion Energy, Duke Energy, Evergy, FirstEnergy, Georgia Power, NV Energy, PECO, PG&E, Southern California Edison and others.

In Texas, however, many utilities and retail electric providers are regulated by the Commission. In addition, the Commission maintains broad oversight authority to ensure just and reasonable rates for many municipal utilities in Texas. In light of the growing uncertainty associated with COVID-19, and the necessity of uninterrupted utility service–at a minimum, (i.e., hot water and access to vital public health information– to stop the spread of the virus, we urge the Commission to take a proactive approach and order all competitive retail electric providers and vertically-integrated utilities outside of ERCOT to halt all utility disconnections until the public health emergency is under control.

We further urge the Commission do everything in its power to ensure uninterrupted service provided by municipal utilities and co-ops in Texas. In Texas, El Paso Electric, SWEPCO, Xcel, and Entergy have provided assurances that service will not be suspended during this time, as have many municipally owned utilities such as CPS Energy in San Antonio and Austin Energy. These actions are to be applauded and should be further backed up with broad statewide directives from the Commission.

Finally, please consider the attached letter asking for urgent action to address electric and water shut- offs across the country.

This letter is addressed to: Governor Hogan of the National Governors Association, Mayor Barnett of the United States Conference of Mayors, Mr. Presley of the National Association of Regulatory Utility Commissioners, Mr. Matheson of the National Rural Electric Cooperative Association, Ms. Ditto of the American Public Power Association, and Mr. Schneider of the Association of Metropolitan Water Agencies. Thank you.

Sincerely,

Chrissy Mann, Beyond Coal Campaign in Texas

Sierra Club

chrissy.mann@sierraclub.org

Cyrus Reed, Interim Director, Lone Star Chapter

Sierra Club

cyrus.reed@sierraclub.org

Adrian Shelly, Director, Texas Office

Public Citizen

ashelley@citizen.org

page3image34013760 page3image34013952

Kristian Caballero, Community Outreach Coordinator

Texas Appleseed

kcaballero@texasappleseed.net

Tyson Slocum, Energy Program Director

Public Citizen

page3image34014912

tslocum@citizen.org

Jordan Macha, Executive Director & Waterkeeper

Bayou City Waterkeeper

jordan@bayoucitywaterkeeper.org

 

 

Texas Environmental Policy and Advocacy Internships

Public Citizen’s Texas office – located in Austin – works mostly on environmental issues. Preserving a livable climate is one of our primary focuses. We advocate for a rapid transition from polluting fossil fuels to clean, affordable renewable energy, as well as programs that will clean our air. Texas is ground zero for many environmental challenges and our staff is working to achieve a more just and sustainable future. We engage in state level and local policy making, media outreach and organizing. Interns will work with staff on one or several projects, depending on the individual’s skills, background and interests. This will be a great opportunity to get hands-on experience working on public policy.

Interns will do some or all of the following:

  • Research
  • Writing reports, factsheets, fliers
  • Writing blog posts
  • Assisting with social media
  • Assisting with press conferences, briefings, and other events
  • Attending community meetings to share information about our campaigns

Qualifications:

  • Desire to work in the public’s interest and
  • Commitment learning about and working on environmental issues
  • Self-motivation and a desire to learn
  • Excellent writing and verbal communication skills
  • Organized
  • Ability to work with a team

Desired, but not required:

  • Background in energy, politics, economics, or public policy
  • Any experience with graphics, video or social media is a plus, but definitely not required

Duration:

  • At least 8 weeks
  • Minimum of 15 hours per week

Location:

  • currently remote
  • when in-person: 309 E 11th St, Suite 2, Austin, TX 78701

Apply:

Public Citizen’s Texas office offers unpaid internships year round (course credit can be arranged). The organization as a whole offers a small number of paid internships ($16.10 an hour), which applicants wishing to work in Texas can apply for.

For Unpaid Positions, Submit:

  • Cover letter outlining why you want to intern at Public Citizen and any other relevant information not found on your resume
  • Resume
  • Writing sample (something you already wrote)
  • Optional: graphics, videos, or social media content you have created

For Paid Positions, Submit:

  • An essay outlining why you want to intern at Public Citizen and any other information about you that you wish to have considered, including your need for financial support (500 words or less)
  • If you have completed the FAFSA, a copy of your Student Aid Report (SAR)
  • Resume
  • Writing sample (something you already wrote)
  • Optional: graphics, videos, or social media content you have created
  • Submit application by July 24, 2022.

Applications for both paid and unpaid internships should be emailed to Kaiba White (kwhite@citizen.org) with “Texas Internship” as the email subject.

Development Internship

Description

This unpaid internship with Public Citizen provides the opportunity to gain practical knowledge, hands-on experience and research skills in events and fundraising. This internship is well-suited for undergraduate and graduate students who wish to enhance their qualifications and gain insight into what it means to identify prospects, research donors, and gain experience as a development professional with a national public interest organization.

Working closely with senior staff in the development department, the intern will do work including:  prospect research, entering data into various platforms, organizing and categorizing our files and systems, and supporting various projects in the development office.

Public Citizen is a great place to “learn the ropes” if you are considering a career in social justice and public interest work. We will guide your learning experience and make every effort to give you projects that will build your professional portfolio. We want our interns to leave Public Citizen with skills that translate directly to the next step in their careers.

Desired Qualifications

Applicants should be curious, critical thinkers with strong research and communication skills.  Applicants must be able to write and work proficiently in English, meet deadlines and handle tasks responsibly. Experience using Microsoft Word and Excel is a must.

Our work

Public Citizen advocates for the American public before Congress, administrative agencies, and the courts. For nearly 50 years, Public Citizen has worked to enhance congressional ethics requirements, stopped industry efforts to rollback public protections, and helped to enact significant laws benefiting consumers. We also work to empower people across the country to advocate effectively by equipping them with carefully researched information and the tools they need to become active, informed citizens.

Internship period

30 hours a week for 8 or more weeks

Location

Public Citizen

1600 20th Street NW

Washington, DC 20009

Metro: Dupont Circle, north exit

Application Process

Please email your cover letter noting why you would like to work with us, your resume and a writing sample to:

Amanda Fleming

Public Citizen

Email: afleming@citizen.org

TCEQ makes many questionable decisions. Here are some of the worst.

A petrochemical fire at the ITC plant in Deer Park, Texas.

Public Citizen’s Texas office is a proud member of the Houston-based One Breath Partnership, a coalition of public health and environmental groups working to protect Houstonians from some of the worst air quality in the nation.

The Partnership recently launched a new website, and we’re proud to be a part of that, as well. One of the new articles, written by Michael Coleman of our Texas office, details how the Texas Commission on Environmental Quality has repeatedly made questionable decisions related to the environment and public health.

Some of these head-scratching choices include rejecting NASA’s offer to fly a high-tech pollution-spotting plane over Houston after Hurricane Harvey, targeting local gas stations for environmental violations instead of the massive oil and gas companies that supply them, shelving a $5 million federal study about toxins in the Houston Ship Channel, and an assertion that pollution just might be healthy.

We retain at least a little bit of hope that the TCEQ will become more proactive about watch-dogging Texas polluters in the future. But for now, it’s worth being reminded of the agency’s serious mistakes of the past. You can read the entire article here.