My highlights of week 4 in the Urban Institute program included conversations with Chinatown TRIP, a city hall dome tour, and a meeting with a few UI alumni who are now legislative aids in city hall. Before the day we met a few founders of TRIP, I had never heard of the organization. I was very surprised to learn how crucial they were in improving the public transportation in Chinatown, especially because so many of the community members in the neighborhood rely heavily on bus rides for daily tasks. Yet another example of solidarity and determination to make Chinatown a better place to live in and to be, Chinatown TRIP is an organization I probably never would have learned about if I had not participated in UI.
My favorite part of this week was the City Hall dome tour. I’ve always been amazed at the beautiful architecture of City Hall but I’ve never been able to see the dome, inside and out, in so much detail. It was extremely interesting to hear many fun facts about the dorm and how it was built, such as the role of horse hair in the construction of the dorm. During our time at City Hall we were also able to hear from UI alumni who currently work as legislative aids. Again, I never would have been able to learn about their jobs in the personal and detailed way I did if it weren’t for this program.