‘Team J’ shines in Rep. Hare’s office

They aren’t cooking up a storm, but Julia Duncan and Julia Latash, Hare’s interns since August, are doing just about everything else in the lawmaker’s office.

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The members of Team J, as the women call themselves, research topics like education and veterans’ healthcare and write statements and letters on everything from Afghanistan to green prisons and motorcycle safety, among a multitude of other duties.

For Duncan, a recent graduate of the University of Virginia, writing statements on subjects like homeless veterans is a good fit. Her long-term goal is to work for a nonprofit that fights domestic homelessness and hunger — her “big issues,” she said.

But she came to Capitol Hill because “I started off in the nonprofit sector and then realized that I’d have to understand the political side of things” first, Duncan said.

Duncan loves to knit and started a collegiate branch of Warm Up America!, a charity that knits blankets for the needy. She’s lost count of the number of blankets she’s knitted.

“It’s a lot,” she laughs.

Latash is also into volunteering, though more on the political side of things. Though she had planned to study math at Washington University in St. Louis, she was drawn to political campaigns. She’s volunteered with the campaigns of Sen. Claire McCaskill (D- Mo.) and then-Sen. Barack Obama (D-Ill.). (Being thanked by Obama for her help, Latash said, is a memory she won’t soon forget.)

Though they won’t be Hare’s interns for too much longer — their internships will be over at the semester’s end — both women hope to remain on Capitol Hill.

And no matter what office they may find themselves in, the members of Team J are certain they’ll keep in touch.

“We don’t separate easily,” Duncan said.