‘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 McCaskillClaire Conner McCaskillIranian attacks expose vulnerability of campaign email accounts Ex-CIA chief worries campaigns falling short on cybersecurity Ocasio-Cortez blasts NYT editor for suggesting Tlaib, Omar aren't representative of Midwest MORE (D- Mo.) and then-Sen. Barack ObamaBarack Hussein ObamaIraq is not yet lost, but if we continue to ignore it, it soon will be Obama praises marathon runners Eliud Kipchoge and Brigid Kosgei for 'remarkable examples of humanity's ability' Each of us has a role in preventing veteran suicide MORE (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.