Caroline Bailey ’21 learned first-hand how much effort goes into writing a bill and getting it signed into law after working as an environmental issues fellow with State Rep. David LeBoeuf last semester. The experiential learning experience has inspired the business administration major and political science minor to pursue a career in state government.
“Before this fellowship, I hadn’t had any real-world experiences working in politics,” Bailey says. “Now, however, I have a greater appreciation for what our officials go through to pass legislation that makes even the most minor change to existing laws. This fellowship has made me proud to say that I plan to continue to help governmental officials like Representative LeBoeuf in their efforts to better the lives of all of their constituents.”
Bailey worked with her advisor, Anthony Dell’Aera, Ph.D., assistant professor of political science, to secure the fellowship, working with LeBeouf and his legislative aide Meaghan Connors. Bailey focused on researching Bill 1338, sponsored by LeBeouf, which would change state law to eliminate a mandatory three-day warning period building inspectors must give to landlords before they perform an inspection on a property.
“The three-day waiting period allows landlords who are cutting corners to temporarily resolve any issues their tenants may have so as to pass inspection, while neglecting to actually address the issue in a more permanent manner,” says Bailey. “The change is in an effort to catch more of the housing violations that are being reported. The bill also improves fire code enforcement mechanisms as well as making stronger fire safety requirements overall.”
Bailey researched bills from other states that give inspectors power to hold landlords to higher standards for fire safety and general housing conditions. “We created leaflets and PowerPoints on the subjects that could eventually be added to Rep. LeBeouf’s website so his constituents will be able to better understand the subjects they covered,” she says.
Bailey was one of 50 students to received $500 Experiential Learning Stipends from the Worcester State Foundation, a program that helps students afford unpaid experiences, such as this fellowship. She says the stipend was helpful because he recently lost her part-time job.
“I was laid off because of COVID-19 so the hours I worked for this fellowship functioned as my job and was my only source of income for the entire semester,” she says.
Stipends will again be offered in the spring semester (student should apply here). The Office of University Advancement will continue to fundraise for the program; to donate to the Experiential Learning Stipend Fund, please visit: alumni.worcester.edu/els.
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