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Staff Snapshots | Hahna Burney

April 5, 2023

Hometown: Richfield Springs, N.Y.

Role: Staff Attorney, Minority Caucus, Alabama Senate

Years of legislative service: Four

The skill or talent she’s most proud of: “The ability I have learned to see people as people, and not as their political views or as the bills they sponsor.”

Why did you choose to work at the Legislature?

It was unlike every other opportunity that I had ran across for lawyers. I wasn’t interested in being a prosecutor or defense attorney, and don’t even get me started on civil work! I have always loved politics and a job in the Legislature is a place where you can be on the cutting edge.

What’s the best advice you were ever given?

To not get too emotionally invested in my projects (thanks, Othni). It can be very difficult to do when you’re working on certain issues or issues you have put your blood, sweat and tears in.

Who or what inspires you?

What inspires me is the feeling I get in my chest when I feel like my work and my contribution matters. It can be a very heavy feeling to think your life isn’t adding value to the overall scheme of things. However, when I know I have made a difference for someone or many someones in the state of Alabama, that inspires me to keep caring and to keep working.

What’s one thing you love about your state?

The WEATHER of course—and being 2.5 hours from the beach ain’t too shabby!

What are you currently reading/listening to/watching?

I am watching “Black Sails” on STARZ because I went to the Virgin Islands recently and am on a pirate kick. I am also reading a book series called “The Mysterious Benedict Society” (it’s for kids but it’s a banger).

These email responses have been lightly edited for length and clarity.

For its “Staff Snapshots” series, State Legislatures News is asking legislative staff about their role in the legislature. To suggest a staffer for this series, please use the email icon above to contact Holly South.

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