Since early September, LWVBAE Fall Interns have been hard at work behind the scenes. During the 2020 election season, interns designed voter information literature, facilitated candidate forums for local races and ran the League’s social media among many other responsibilities. With League local measure endorsements and candidate forums, any election season is busy for the LWVBAE, and this fall the interns took on a variety of projects.
Voter Services Intern Rohini Chokkalingam contacted local community partners, such as local food pantries and schools, to help spread information on voting during a pandemic and using Voter’s Edge.
“I can’t vote yet – I turn 18 next fall,” Rohini commented, “but I knew I wanted to participate in the election. It’s been really fulfilling.”
She and Action Intern Mattias Hoz both presented at ballot measure pro/con meetings, making arguments as to whether the LWVBAE should or shouldn’t make an endorsement. Communications Intern Lucy Montgomery posted news on the League’s Facebook and Twitter accounts, and created and ran the LWVBAE Instagram account. Both Mattias and Lucy wrote multiple articles for the League website on local issues and news.
“I’ve enjoyed having the sense that I was able to make change in the electoral process,” said Mattias, explaining how rewarding his internship has been. Lucy echoed his sentiments: “I’ve learned so much about local politics and nonprofit organizations, while also being able to reach out to the community.”
The fall 2020 internships were held entirely over Zoom, but interns met with LWVBAE Team Leaders every week and saw each other in regular internship program meetings. Interns and Team Leaders got to know each other through discussion on city politics with Berkeley Councilmember Rigel Robinson, political framing, and the history of policing with Berkeley Police Review Commission Vice-Chair Nathan Mizell.
With the spring semester starting, the general advice from current interns to the next group is to ask Team Leaders for help – “they’re very friendly and willing to help,” said Rohini – and to pursue topics you’re interested in.
“You’ll have a lot of freedom to tackle whichever political issues you care most about, so figure out what interests you and then build your own project around that,” Mattias recommended.
There are so many different things to do with the LWVBAE, so have fun with it!
–Lucy Montgomery, Communications Team Intern
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