March 21, 2022 Blog

Emerging Leaders: Archer Choi, 2022 Legislative Intern

Today concludes my last day at the Alliance, and I am truly sad to see it go. I met an incredible group of people here, all passionate and hardworking and filled with hope—and realism—about gun violence prevention. I applied to this internship because I was looking for experience in the policy/legal side of social justice, and the Alliance for Gun Responsibility completely fit the bill. 

I stepped in with the expectation of perhaps writing legislation and paperwork, but instead I got to see a less glamorous side of what it means to be involved with a non-profit. And that was phone banking. Hours and hours of it. Before this I had never phonebanked in my life, and I was no short of nervous to be calling possible hostile individuals about a controversial topic. Yet thankfully, most people were very kind, to the point at some moments I’d look forward to calling. Textbanking was a different story. People can be very mean when they don’t have to say things to your face. I did end up dabbling in some paperwork as expected as well as legislation and checking changes to specific bills. 

It is a shame most of the internship was remote, because one of my favorite memories was gathering in the office for the first time to prepare for hearings. It was the most relaxed and vibrant office environment I’d ever been in, and I truly believe that everyone has found a friend in each other. 

I learned so much about how nonprofits are run as well as the foundation that needs to be set in order to pass legislation. I was always so focused on the bill itself and the direct contact of representatives, but this experience taught me to additionally focus on the constituents as well, and demonstrated the power we can have. I am incredibly grateful to have been part of the 2022 team, especially during such an important year for gun responsibility in Washington state. Although I’m moving on from the Alliance, I will always look back upon it as a fond memory and hope we continue achieving wins in the future. 

Archer Choi was a legislative intern during the 2022 legislative session.