Week 9: The Hill

Share This:

Sunday, July 26, 2015


Veronica Martinez-Vargas

Second to last week and I spent most of it at the Hill, I took the opportunity to express my concerns to the representatives and explore their workspace.

On Monday, we had the Capitol Hill tour lead by Drew and Elias, the two AIP Mather Policy interns. We started at the Capitol Visitor Center for a tour of the crypt, the rotunda, and the statuary hall. Then stopped at the Library of Congress for a bit before heading over to the Rayburn House Office Building to tour the committee rooms. Toured the US House Committee Science, Space and Technology room and the room of US House Committee on Energy and Commerce, where Drew and Elias work, respectively. This tour emphasized  how science and politics can be intertwined more for the sake of just and valid political actions, as well as the urgent need for communication between the two fields, and the need of a safe space for scientists in the political arena.

On Wednesday after work, I went to the  third annual Science, Technology, Engineering, and Mathematics Fair and Reception hosted by Women’s Policy Inc at the Cannon House Office Building near the Hill later that day. There were public and private sectors such as NSF (National Science Foundation), BP(British Petroleum), NIH (National Institutes of Health),NASA (National Aeronautics and Space Administration), and Department of Energy to name a few. We networked with Dr. Dava Newman, Sophie Hildebrand, and Dr. Cady Coleman, all encouraged us to continue a career in STEM, soon to be STEAM as for the incorporation of the Arts in science! I was discourared when I asked these great agencies how inclusive they were with undocumented or DACA-mented students (people that received a Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals status) for their internships or fellowship opportunities---and most of their responses were that they were not and/or could not provide an answer to me at the moment. This showed me that these opportunities may still not be open to me and others like me pursuing a degree in STEM.

Thursday, I joined a team of immigrant rights activists and visited the offices of several senators and representatives from California. We asked them to refrain from moving forward with their policy proposals (which would get rid of sanctuary cities and make it mandatory for police enforcement to work with ICE-Immigration and Customs Enforcement) that will only instill more fear in our communities. We asked them not to further target and criminalize people like my mother, and instead focus on ways to administratively and legislatively fix our broken immigration system. After the Hill, I attended the reception and discussion of Kent Wong’s new book, Dreams Deported: Immigrant Youth and Families Resist Deportation at AFL-CIO (American Federation of Labor and Congress of Industrial Organizations). The book tells the stories of many immigrants rights activists who have stood together to resist deportation, build power, protect their families and fix our broken immigration system. Fellow activist Hareth Andrade shared her poem “America” with us, I was happy hear her poem and see her again.

Friday at NIST, we worked some more in our AutoCAD files as we had to change our source,gate, and drain designs from line to the polyline commands. This did not take long, but it was the final step we had to do before the e-beam lithography process could start. The AutoCAD files were then turned into LEDIT files, which would be used as the mask design to expose the substrate covered with PMMA to the electron beam, outlining where the metal deposition will take place, and thus build the electrodes.


Listening to the guide at the Capitol Hill's rotunda.
Inside the US House Committee on Energy and Commerce room.
At the office of the Committee of Science, Space, and Technology.
Dr. Cady Coleman, astronaut.

Veronica Martinez-Vargas