In The People's Blog, Updates from Jo

This blog is written by Adia Bennett, an amazing intern in the district.

This fall I began a semester-long internship with Senator Jo Comerford. Working with Jo and her team has been much more than a job. It has been an amazing opportunity for me to explore ways to address the climate crisis that I haven’t had access to before. I wanted to intern for Jo to learn more about what it means to be a senator as well as an activist; to be someone who has the power to help create the change they want to see. I am interested in exploring whether I might want to go into politics or environmental policy.

I am sure I want my future career to involve fighting climate change—but I am still deciding the best way for me to do that. Seeing political figures like Jo using their platforms to make a difference in the things they care about has motivated me to explore the political side of climate action.

My junior year of High School, I became a co-leader of the environmental club with two other incredible young women: Willa Sippel and Saraphina Forman. They are the most inspiring, empowered, and determined people I know; I feel so lucky to have the opportunity to work alongside them and learn from them. Saraphina, Willa, and their friend Jordy collectively founded the Northampton chapter of the Sunrise Movement and I immediately joined. Together, environmental club and Sunrise Northampton organized three climate strikes in Spring of 2019: two of them took place in Northampton and one took place in Boston. Those experiences were life changing for me. To not only participate in these strikes, but to be a part of the organization of hundreds of people feels powerful—I can only imagine how Greta Thunberg feels.

Environmental club also hosted two town hall meetings at Northampton High School in the spring of 2019, one of which was attended by Senator Comerford. Saraphina, Willa, and I met with her again later in the year to learn more about climate activism she was involved with and the bills she supported. I found that Jo was truly passionate about her work to combat climate change, and I was inspired to see a politician making an effort to create actual change.

I got in contact with Jo about an internship almost immediately after the town hall meeting, where I first met her. The thought of working in the Senator’s office under her and her team was exciting. I could not wait to feel like I had work in the real world doing important things, rather than doing projects at school where the only reward is a good grade. Now that I have been here for a month, I can say with absolute certainty that I am not disappointed. I have enjoyed working with Jo and the members of her team to help them succeed, and to learn about the challenges of their work.

Each member of Jo’s team works incredibly hard and all seem committed to the work they do everyday. I look forward to the next few months being a part of Jo’s team and getting to work on projects that are important to me.

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Text reading "Dear Jo" over a background of a stack of lettersOpinions and columns: legislator commentary by Jo Comerford