Calm before the storm

I am the 2017 Sea Grant Legislative Fellow for the Coastal Caucus, and for the last two and half years I have been slogging through law school at U of O.  Most of law school is sitting in a class franticly typing everything your professor says, praying you don’t make enough eye contact to get cold called, or sitting alone reading really really boring cases. I think I actually forgot what is was like to be in a serious office environment. It’s taken me a few days to remember how to curl my eyelashes and never to wear heels. Although I miss yoga pants and messy buns something fierce but I’m glad to trade them for daily human interaction.


A lot of my first few months working for the Coastal Caucus has been spent learning what exactly the Caucus does and how it functions. The Caucus is made up of eight Senators and Representatives who represent coastal districts. Senator Jeff Kruse from District 1 is the Chair for the 2017 session so my desk is in his office this year and I interact with him or his Chief of Staff the most. I’m in almost constant contact with the rest of the members or their staff as issues come up. So far I have spent about 2 weeks total at my desk in the building and the majority of my work has been attending meetings around Oregon and answering emails from coffee shops. I know that this easy pace is about to change and I am so thankful for the extra time before session to get my feet wet.


Today is the first day of session, and the change from relatively low key to high energy is palatable in the building. For days I have been researching issues like tide gates and shipyards in an almost silent building, today I think I’ve been able to read 5 pages max. Lobbyists, staff, and constituents are everywhere discussing what this session will mean for Oregon. Tomorrow is our first 7 am Coastal Caucus meeting during session where we will start to prioritize and schedule all of the issues that have been discussed so far. Today is the final deep breath before the plunge.

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2 thoughts on “Calm before the storm

  1. Hi Annie,

    Thanks for sharing. I am excited to learn how your fellowship will change as the session comes in to full swing. As you noted, I am sure the pace will pick up quite quickly! Best of luck with “the plunge”! I am sure it will be busy, but informative.

  2. Who schedules meetings for 7am?! I guess there’s no sleep in government. I’m sure it’s exciting (and potentially exhausting) to be constantly interacting with people. Like Mary said, I’m looking forward to hearing all about how your experience with the Caucus progresses.

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