In order to highlight our growing membership of individuals who support our mission to promote civic engagement in Austin’s tech sector, we regularly feature profiles of ATA members.
Up now: one of ATA’s spring interns, Anjitha Nair!
What got you interested in interning for Austin Tech Alliance?
As a CS major who is also interested in government and public policy, it was initially hard for me to find opportunities at the intersection of technology and civics. I was introduced to the Austin Tech Alliance when they hosted an event at UT about tech and politics last spring. I was fascinated by ATA’s mission and work. I knew then that interning at ATA would be a great opportunity for me to learn more about public policy and how to promote civic engagement in Austin’s tech sector and the tech community, at large. I am very excited to be interning at ATA to combine my interest in technology, civics, and public policy with a focus on local and state politics.
What’s one thing you want to accomplish during your time interning at ATA?
I am especially excited to be interning with ATA this semester because it will be during the 87th Texas Legislative session. This is the first time I am following state politics so closely; I am really excited to be tracking the passage of certain bills and other legislative priorities of ATA. Through this internship, I am also really looking forward to creating written and digital content focused on Texas state politics and civic engagement through ATA’s blog and social media. With the election season over, I am excited to create and promote content that focuses on general civic engagement and education because civic engagement doesn’t stop with voting in elections. There’s so much more to being civically engaged and being involved in your community outside of the election season.
Why is civic engagement important to you?
When I was introduced to politics and civics in high school, it was very hard for me to learn the basics of civics: how to follow politics, how to find who represents me in all levels of government, and how to be involved in the political process and advocacy of certain issues in my community. My journey of learning the importance of civic engagement has been a long yet incredibly valuable process for me, and through that journey, I understood that civics can, at times, be inaccessible. That’s what I believe we need to change, and throughout my college career, I have worked in spaces to create dialogue and share information on how to bring more people of my generation into the political process.
Everyone’s political participation and civic engagement is crucial to ensure our government represents us, the people, and the issues that affect us. Democracy only functions when everyone participates. Therefore, civic engagement – volunteering in your community, participating in a town hall, contacting your elected representatives, or advocating for an issue you’re passionate about – is incredibly important; it’s how you make your voice heard and ensure that all levels of government are working for you and the well-being of your community, Texas, and the nation!
There’s always lots more to learn about effective civic engagement and how to include more people in our political process. So, I am very grateful and excited for this opportunity to intern at the Austin Tech Alliance where I can grow my knowledge in civics and public policy even more!