Monday, July 4, 2016

Week 8

Before embarking on this incredible journey, I didn't have much more than a general knowledge of this intricate system that was set up for the people and by the people. As this summer has progressed my horizons have expanded exponentially, the foundation of eternal relationships has been laid, and lifelong memories have been made. 

Prior to this experience I had a convoluted view of the legislative process. As with anything, the view from the outside looking in is always different from actually being in the mix. Before hand I thought there was too much restriction, too much interference, and too much delay. This couldn't be farther from the truth, there is a method to the madness. Certain aspects of the legislative process seem to have no rhyme or reason, however on the contrary everything has a reason. The legislative system is fraught with inherent failsafes and a strategically designed flow of legislature. These integral pieces of the legislative process ensure that no actions are taken hastily and that each process is questioned thoroughly. After contemplation, the realization that the speed of the legislative process, as much of an inconvenience it is for good/no-brainer is the beauty of the American system. This allows a bill to evolve into a well crafted piece of legislation, that hopefully helps the people as soon as it is enacted. It also affords the opportunity for certain situations to clear themselves up, which happens more than you think and shows that as important as legislation is, it isn't the answer to everything.

Sine Die

-The Wolf of Edenton Street

Friday, June 24, 2016

Week 7


A phrase commonly heard as we head into the home stretch of session. It seems to be filled with committee and subcommittee meetings galore, with an abundance of PCS's as the center pieces of these meetings.

This means that eyes and ears are needed everywhere just to stay on top of things. It can throw one person into a tizzy just trying to keep up with all the meetings, let alone the content. This week has been spent hopping from place to place, scouring for seats, and making a mad dash for copies of the bills. All this in an effort to stay on top of everything that is coming our way.

These weeks where everything seems so hectic has been a joyful reprieve for me. I feel like I have finally hit my stride and am thriving in the midst of all the chaos. Learning what to look for and expect was very difficult at first and now seeing what is underlying and important is second nature. Catching things that shouldn't be here or there has been so rewarding, and almost as enjoyable as sitting in on any committee that Senator Tillman is chair on.

As things continue to ramp up to the grand finale, I can't help but feel a bit melancholy. We are entering the homestretch of an experience I am not quite ready to have end.

And that’s the way it is

- The Wolf of Edenton Street

Friday, June 17, 2016

Week 6

Learning how to navigate this tumultuous world of public policy which can seem a bit overwhelming at times. As this summer continues I realize how important being a unit is to the success of any organization. Seeing a very sophisticated real world application of this common practice that we have learned throughout our academic careers has been so life altering. Every person has to be on board and understand that each contribution is instrumental to the success of the whole.

As session heats up this unit mentality becomes increasingly important for the NC legislature. There are so many moving pieces to this integral process. This week I was able to see so many of the moving pieces both large and small. On an evening this week the Department hosted an event at the Museum of History it was rather large affair, with a star studded cast included to standouts such as the Governor and The Commissioner of Agriculture. It was exactly what I imagined a Christmas party at the GA would be like. It was so much fun to see the Representatives and Senators in a relaxed setting, loosening up and having a good time.

This week was by far one of the funnest thus far. I have truly relished the opportunity to get a more personal look intimate look at the individuals who keep us hanging on their every word.

Goodnight and Good Tomorrow

- The Wolf of Edenton Street

Friday, June 10, 2016

Week 5

As we settle into the half way point of this internship, I find myself reflecting on what has lead up to this point in my life over the past year and how have I become fortunate enough to have such a life changing experience as this. 

All the roads seem to point to one or two fortunate and opportune conversations with two of my personal role models: Dr. James Tyus and Dr. Matthew Koci. They pushed and encouraged me to take a leap of faith and put my name in the running for this prestigious program. Having the opportunity to be immersed in the would of public policy has been life changing.

This program truly carries on the legacy of Mr. Adolf Warren and all those like minded individuals who have picked up his life long legacy of pushing youth to excel and lift themselves up. A society relies on not the strength of the individual but the strength of the whole. I would just like to take a moment to thank the Dunn family for everything they have done for my cohorts and myself. 

And so it Goes

- The Wolf on Edenton Street

Friday, June 3, 2016

Week 4

This week the hot topic is the Senate budget, and things have become a mad house. Much anticipation was given to the unveiling of the senate budget, as this begins the conference of the two houses on a final budget to be rolled out at a later time.

As we have done this week, in the coming weeks we will be keeping an eye on the budgets progress as we get closer to a finished product. During this time we will be going around and doing what we can to ensure that the Department has its "essential budgetary allocations." This means putting boots on the ground and going to work. It is an absolute wonder to watch the Departments Public Policy Liaison do her job. A job that requires one to be knowledgeable about a plethora of subjects and understand the subtle nuances of some of the more delicate matters. 

It is hard to believe that the Department only has one liaison at times, considering that the department has so many divisions under its umbrella. I feel very fortunate to have the chance to learn from such a professional.

Glad We Could Get Together

- The Wolf of Edenton Street

Friday, May 27, 2016

Week 3

Week 3 with the NCDA was dominated by The Farm Act.

"Where is it? What will it look like?"

These questions were posed at least half a dozen times every day leading up to the unveiling of the bill. Now, I know what you're probably thinking, isn't this a bit redundant? There's already a Federal Farm Act! Well, no, it's not redundant, especially not in a state where agriculture will be close to a $100 billion industry by the year 2020.

The act has several provisions to insure that the growing needs of NC agriculture are met. A few of the most interesting provisions dealt with used bedding enforcement and the culling of swine from aircraft. Bedding has always struck me as such an odd ball sector for the department to manage. It really is quite exciting to be on the front lines of this section of the legislation, especially since it has to deal with not only the enforcement aspect of used bedding inspection agents, but also the protection of them. It was amazing to hear about how much thought went into giving the agents the authority to do their job but in addition, the level of protection that was being enacted to protect them while they fulfill their duties. Another doozy was the culling of feral hogs from aircrafts; never in a million years would I have thought the Farm Act would have a piece of legislation related to that. It was a pleasant and humbling surprise. Just as I thought I was learning what to expect, I suddenly am presented with that, talk about funny.

On a slower note, the Friday committee meeting this week was a very interesting one; the group had just returned from NY after touring a lab there. They came back with a fresh perspective, new ideas, and a lot more energy. Things seem like they are really going to start ramping up on that front. I will be sure to keep you all posted.

Over and out

- The Wolf of Edenton Street

Friday, May 20, 2016

Week 2

If I thought week one was fast, then I was clearly mistaken. Week two has absolutely flown by and is shaping up to be one to remember. The budget is hot off the presses, amendments are being heard left and right, and we are trying to make sense of it all.

Taking a step back and trying to process it all has me a bit befuddled, it is a lot to take in and process. The process of things seemed simple enough from the outside looking in, however now thanks to this trial by fire, I see a whole new side. Having the privilege to sit in on session, meetings, and reviews has broadened my horizons beyond words. The passion and zeal some of these representatives bring to the table shows exactly why they were elected, while others show a more technical and calculated side, there erases any doubts that we need more people like them in the world.

Each Friday for the remainder of the summer, I will find myself at a subcommittee meeting regarding a new planning of the new State Lab. The opportunity to witness and play a role (a very small one might I add) in some of these discussions is amazing. Seeing firsthand how they are going about the process of planning is phenomenal, NC has its sights set on having one of the premier labs in the country.

Signing off

- The Wolf of Edenton Street