The Citizens League's Capitol Pathways program will place nearly 30 college students of color from around the state with government offices, nonprofits, and lobbying firms where they can build experience and relationships in Minnesota politics.
The Capitol Pathways program was created to strengthen Minnesota government by making it more representative of the state’s population. Despite growing diversity throughout Minnesota, people of color are largely absent from legislative decision making in the state.
The program will open access to young students of color with the intention of developing the next generation of Minnesota policy leaders. Students will be exposed to various career paths allowing them to build relationships with established leaders, gain real-world experience in the field, and build a strong professional resume.
“The Capitol Pathways internship is an inspiring program that opens opportunities for students of color to have real-world Capitol experience,” said Secretary of State Steve Simon. “I’m excited for my office to host and mentor one of its students.”
Having worked for many years in politics and policy, I know state government is slow to become representative of the state population.The Minnesota Capitol Pathways Program shows how a few people who are willing to use their time and connections can hurry history and create a Capitol that truly reflects our state.
Interns are being hosted in the government relations offices of various organizations, including the Office of the Secretary of State, the Minnesota Department of Natural Resources, the Minnesota Housing Finance Agency, the City of Saint Paul, Education Minnesota, MinnCAN, Fresh Energy, Minnesota Environmental Partnership, NAMI Minnesota, Lutheran Social Services, the Citizens League, and others.
The 2016 program launches with an orientation on February 5. For more information, including intern bios and photos and a complete list of participating organizations, visit: citizensleague.org/...
Juventino Meza is co-founder of the Capitol Pathways program and Citizens League Board member.