Division of Student Services

Resources: Public Policy

Note: the below are not necessarily eligible for off-campus Federal Work Study. Please find FWS eligible opportunities here.

Here are some starting points for getting involved through different organizations that are active in various areas of public policy. Not all of these opportunities are in Oregon.

2030 Center

The 2030 Center, founded in 1997, is a public policy organization for young adults. The 2030 Center's mission is to advocate for economic interest of young workers. One of 2030 Center's current projects is the Social Security Project which has brought the organization major national attention as an important advocate for young adults who want to strengthen, not dismantle, Social Security for future generations.

Amnesty International

This link will lead you directly to the volunteer page of Amnesty International. Amnesty International is a worldwide movement of people who campaign for internationally recognized human rights. In pursuit of this vision, AI's mission is to undertake research and action focused on preventing and ending grave abuses of the rights to physical and mental integrity, freedom of conscience and expression, and freedom from discrimination, within the context of its work to promote all human rights.

Cascade Policy Institute

The Cascade Policy Institute was founded in January 1991 as a nonprofit research and educational organization to focus on Oregon state and local issues. The Institute's mission is to explore and advance public policy alternatives that are market-oriented and centered around individual liberty and personal responsibility. If you have a strong interest in political science, economics, business, history, English, journalism or communications, you may want to apply for a Cascade internship.

The Center

In San Diego, The Center's Public Policy Department educates legislators and the public on local, state, and federal issues affecting the LBGT (Lesbian Bisexual Gay Transgendered) community. Whether advocating for civil union legislation, organizing youth to lobby for human rights, or fighting hate crimes and discrimination, the Policy Department pursues a non-partisan agenda of equality, respect, and dignity for all. Check out the volunteer page to see how you can make a difference.

The Criminal Justice Policy Coalition

The Criminal Justice Policy Coalition works on a number of issues related to police conduct, prison conditions, and sentencing reform within the Commonwealth of Massachusetts. Visit the volunteer page for more.

The Green Party

The Green Party of the United States is a confederation of state Green Parties. Committed to environmentalism, non-violence, social justice and grassroots organizing, Greens are "renewing democracy" without corporate donors. Submit a volunteer application if you're interested.


Hyacinth is the first and largest AIDS service organization in New Jersey. Hyacinth's mission is to help people with HIV, slow the spread of the epidemic and serve as a critical voice in the public debate surrounding AIDS in New Jersey. For more opportunities, please visit the volunteer page.

Jobs with Justice

Portland Jobs with Justice (JwJ) is a local campaign for workers' rights affiliated with national Jobs with Justice. Working through coalitions of labor, community, religious and consitituency organizations, Jobs with Justice is fighting for workers' rights and economic justice. Submit a volunteer application to get started!

Oregon Action

Oregon Action is a statewide community organization dedicated to economic and social justice for all. They empower the voices of under-represented people– particularly poor and low-income people, people of color and women– to influence public policy. Through leadership development and community organizing they work to shift the balance of power on issues that matter to their members. Find out how you can get involved.

Oregon Center for Public Policy

The Oregon Center for Public Policy is a Silverton, Oregon-based non-profit research institute that uses research and analysis to advance policies and practices that improve the economic and social prospects of low- and moderate-income Oregonians, the majority of Oregonians.

Oregon Public Affairs Network

OPAN's mission statement is to integrate active citizenship with the definition of "Oregonian." OPAN uses television and Internet technology to enable communication between state officials and citizens to encourage participation in state government and educate Oregonians about the political process.

People for the American Way

Based in Washington DC, People for the American Way aims to meet the challenges of discord and fragmentation with an affirmation of the "American way." By this, they mean pluralism, individuality, freedom of thought, expression and religion, a sense of community, and tolerance and compassion for others. People for the American Way will reach out to all Americans and affirm that in our society, the individual still matters; that there is a reason to believe in the future--not to despair of it--and that we must strengthen the common cords that connect us as humans and citizens. Check out their listings to find ways you can get involved.

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Tara Sonali Miller
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