13 June 2013, NEVADA CITY – The Sierra Fund is thrilled to introduce our summer Policy Intern, Ben Menzies. Ben will assist our “Get the Mercury Out” campaign by working on producing persuasive materials that we will use to build political support for the campaign over the next year.
A third-generation resident of the Sierra, Ben became acquainted with the work of The Sierra Fund in high school, and he contacted TSF CEO Elizabeth Martin several months ago to inquire about the possibility of working as an intern this summer. A longtime competitor in interscholastic policy debate, first at Nevada Union High School and now at Whitman College in Walla Walla, Washington, Ben has extensive experience crafting arguments in order to appeal to policymakers from a broad range of backgrounds.
When he returns to college in August, Ben will enter his senior year at Whitman College, majoring in Religion. For all four years, the school has awarded him the President’s Scholarship for Debate, equivalent to a full scholarship with the exact amount adjusted based on financial need, and he has achieved an excellent academic record.
Regarding the connection between his academic work and his summer position, Ben said, “Studying the many ways people with vastly different backgrounds from myself have experienced the phenomenon of ‘Religion’ has given me an understanding of the importance of treating people with respect no matter how different their perspective is from my own. I have also built up a set of tools for figuring out how to find common ground. I expect those skills will be extremely useful in building a diverse coalition of communities supporting The Sierra Fund’s efforts to solve the problem of mercury from legacy mining.”
TSF CEO Izzy Martin said regarding Ben, “The Sierra Fund is excited to have someone like Ben here for the summer to help us build support for our campaign. In the time that I have known Ben, he has demonstrated the persuasive skills we need for this campaign, not to mention a passion for the work we do and the ideals necessary for building intelligent and fair public policy.”