A career as a legislative aide involves legislative analysis, research and both written and oral communications. Legislative aides must demonstrate knowledge of all levels of governments and their functions. Knowledge of the legislative process is required for a career in this field.
Name: Christine Silva-Burnett
Position: Chief of Staff, District 5, Office of Councilmember Nora Campos
Education: Graduate of Harvard University School Public Policy
Career Bio: Board member, Cambrian School District; Volunteer, Environmental Programs, City of San Jose; Environmental & Budget Policy Aide, then-Santa Clara County Supervisor Ron Gonzales; Consultant to Santa Cruz County Board of Supervisors & Sutter Health; Business & Union Relations, Working Partnerships; Council Aide, District 3, Office of Councilmember Cindy Chavez; Chief of Staff, District 5, Office of Councilmember Nora Campos.
Advantages: Legislative Aides have a hand in helping people and creating change. Especially at the local level, aides actually can see their work helping people in the community.
Disadvantages: Legislative aides often work long hours performing stressful duties. A career as a legislative aide is not a high paying career.
Advice: Volunteer and Intern as much as possible in the industry. Meet with electeds and network with them. Legislative aides need to be committed and willing to do the grunt work, as a career in politics is not always a glamorous job.
How a background in Political Science will help: A background in political science will clearly help anyone looking to be a legislative aide. An understanding of government at all levels will allow a person to effectively perform in the field of government and politics.