Civic Mobilization: Adelle Goldenberg '21

Adelle Goldenberg
Adelle Goldenberg

Throughout this summer, we will be spotlighting the summer experiences of our IOP students working in politics and public service through their internships across the country and globe.

The Director’s Internship program has been a signature of the Institute of Politics for nearly 25 years and each summer the IOP works with more than 150 government offices, non-profits, and news organizations to provide internships for students who are looking to pursue careers in politics and public service. The IOP also offers summer stipends for rising sophomores, juniors, and seniors accepting non- or low-paying summer internships in local, state, or federal government, public interest groups, non-governmental organizations, political organizations, and political campaigns.

This summer, as in years past, many of those students will be spending their summer working in civic mobilization - participating in organizations that are working to increase civic engagement and education.

Adelle Goldenberg '21 is spending her summer interning at Robin Hood in New York City.

What inspired you to choose this public service internship?

I wanted to understand how seemingly intractable issues, such as poverty, are tackled.

What issues have you been focusing on in your internship?

My work focuses mainly on education and policy. Education is a vital key for social mobility and self-individuation – and policy is what enables educational opportunity for all.

One of the main projects I have been working on this summer concerns the Census 2020 effort. The constitutionally-mandated decennial census determines congressional representation, federal funding, redistricting, private investment, and more — that’s why it’s extremely important for every single person to be counted. Historically, there have been major undercounts in certain areas, tracking closely along racial and socioeconomic lines. For example, according to the AALDEF, 1 million people of color were missed in the 2000 census. The upcoming census brings with it new challenges, as it will be available digitally for the first time. Additionally, the proposed addition of a citizenship question to the census may have caused a chilling effect which will make it that much harder to achieve an accurate count, according to census experts.

Since a majority of New York State’s hard-to-count census tracts are within New York City’s 5 boroughs, Robin Hood - NYC’s largest poverty-fighting organization — is naturally keen on supporting efforts to ensure an accurate count. This summer, I’ve had the privilege of working with key partners, including community organizations, nonprofits and the city government, to assess the efforts underway and the role which philanthropy can play.

What are you most excited about working in public service and government?

What excites me most about public service and government is that the work requires multi-faceted thinking. An issue such as poverty is not caused by a single factor; Instead, multiple factors come into play, such as housing, job security, food security, education, public policy and access to resources. Therefore, when it comes to thinking about solutions, all these different variables must be considered in order to provide a sustainable solution.

What are you hoping to learn and to get out of your internship experience this summer?

I’m hoping to learn more about how systemic change is brought about, and the role that different sectors play in creating widescale impact.