Week 2: Office Policy Platforms
Internship: Senator Leland Yee
What are some of the policy platforms of your office? How is your office accountable to constituent groups it serves?
Our largest policy platform, in a nutshell, is supporting the rights of the underserved population. Minorities, the elderly, victims of sexual exploitation and trafficking; workplace violence; all of these are and more are priorities of the Senator. Progressivism is the key word, and the Senator works on progressive legislation that helps out the common man. One of the bills I was fortunate enough to work on was SB 327. SB 327 gives victims of human trafficking special exemptions to allow things like expert testimony to help them reduce their conviction time and to aid them during parole board hearings. Right now it is currently in appropriations, and it will hopefully pass and be chaptered into law.
We are accountable to our constituents because they visit us all the time. Various groups ranging from unions to poverty advocates are constantly in the office to meet with staffers or the Senator himself to discuss issues of the day. A good amount of the people that come to this office are advocacy groups who are working on issues that affect minorities and the poor. No stone is left unturned, and because the Senator represents such a diverse and liberal population (San Francisco and San Mateo County) he must be sure to cater to their needs as well as his own political leanings.
Finding a balance between our policy platform and being accountable to our constituents does not seem to be a real issue in the office. Most if not all the time our platform lines up perfectly with what the constituents want.