CORVALLIS – Representative Dan Rayfield (D-Corvallis) has announced that he will be hosting the Willamette Valley Legislative Fellowship (WVLF) again this year. The WVLF is a paid 11- week program designed to provide local college and high school students with unique opportunities to gain both campaign and policy experience.
The WVLF occurs during election years and runs from August to November. The program will begin accepting applications for this year’s program on April 20th. Successful applicants will be notified of their acceptance into the program in June.
During the program fellows participate in weekly workshops that include strategies on how to develop policy or run a campaign. Each workshop includes a guest speaker that has professional experience for that given topic area.
Fellows are also given the opportunity to work in small groups to develop a policy proposal of their choosing. At the end of the program, the groups present their policies to lawmakers, including Rayfield, and a winner is selected. The winning policy will be drafted by Rayfield and filed as a bill during the 2021 long session. In 2019, the winning proposal was a statewide plastic bag ban that was inspired by the Corvallis law.
“The fellowship is a meaningful way for students to gain experience and further their own values at the same time.” Rayfield said. “Most importantly, it’s just a ton of fun.”
In addition to weekly workshops, fellows will participate in a number of weekend canvassing events. These events take place in competitive districts across Oregon, giving fellows the chance to meet numerous elected officials and candidates involved in the political process.
“It is great to be able to get students a first step into Oregon politics.” Rayfield said. “I believe that fellows come away from the program with a more realistic idea of what a career in politics means.”
To apply for the Willamette Valley Legislative Fellowship, visit danrayfield.com.