Christian Resch: My Journey with the William J. Keefe Congressional Fellowship

My name is Christian Resch, and I am a rising senior at the University of Pittsburgh. I am studying Political Science with a minor in Economics and a certificate in Russian and Eastern European Studies. I am an Army ROTC Cadet with a three-year tuition scholarship training to become a Second Lieutenant upon completing my degree.

In every essence of my being, I am a public servant; every action that I take in my life will be in the service of others. After my service in the Army, I plan on working in the Pennsylvania General Assembly. I plan on running campaigns to elect citizens into the legislature and become the chief of staff of their office to ensure that the policies that were campaigned on are implemented once in office. Pittsburgh is my hometown, and I want to serve the people of Pittsburgh and Pennsylvania until it becomes a place where people of color and other marginalized groups are supported and uplifted. I will not stop working until the oppressive factors of our state’s institutions that harm these groups of people are demolished. My career pattern of running campaigns and then working in their legislative offices gives me the freedom to help put into power a person who will bring about effective change. This freedom will also allow me to leave an office if I feel that they are not meeting my moral standards of operating in a seat of power. My passion for improving the quality of life for the people of Pennsylvania is profound, and that is why I want to focus on the Pennsylvania General Assembly.

My prior experiences place me in a unique position to accomplish these goals. When I graduated high school, I worked as a field organizer for a state representative campaign in Zelienople, PA. This election took place in rural Pennsylvania, and my candidate was at a disadvantage because Democrats are very hard to elect in this area. Because we had to work hard to gain support, I learned a lot about what it takes to run a campaign. My experiences there are what prepared me for future internships in campaigns and government. After that internship, I went on to work as a: legislative intern for Pittsburgh City Councilman Corey O’Connor, constituent services intern for Congressman Connor Lamb, Deputy Field Director for State Representative Emily Kinkead’s campaign, and now an intern for State Representative Emily Kinkead’s District and Harrisburg offices. Outside of internships, I stayed heavily involved in political organizations. I was the freshman representative to the executive board of the University of Pittsburgh College Democrats. Eventually, I became the political action director, vice-president, and then president of the organization. With the Allegheny County Young Democrats, I currently serve as the college liaison. Finally, with the Pennsylvania College Democrats, I served as the finance director, and now I am the organization’s president.

I received this internship through the William J. Keefe Congressional Fellowship and it is with State Representative Emily Kinkead. For this internship, I will be working with the representative for eight weeks. For the first four weeks (starting May 1st), I will be working in the district office, and for the last four weeks (ending on June 25th), I will be serving in the Harrisburg office. The tasks I will be completing in the Pittsburgh district office will be focused on constituent services and community building. While in the Harrisburg office, I will be working in the capitol building every day, acting as a legislative assistant to the representative. I will attend meetings with the representative, maintain the office, put together reports on upcoming legislation, and provide overall counsel to the representative.

This internship with the representative will teach me the essential tasks needed for running a Pennsylvania State Representative’s Office. As my goal in life is to operate as the chief of staff for a state representative after getting elected into office, this internship is the perfect opportunity for me professionally. Academically, the representative is one of the most intelligent people I know. She and her office workers will assign me tasks to provide analysis, and their feedback will hone my ability to analyze policy. Personally, I helped to get Representative Kinkead elected into office. Her victory was very emotional for me, and to be able to serve in her office to help accomplish the goals we fought for on the campaign is the honor of my life.

I am excited to begin this journey and am so thankful for Representative Kinkead and the William J. Keefe Congressional fellowship for providing this opportunity.

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