League leaders and interns convened in February at the League office on San Pablo Avenue in Berkeley to share updates, and hear a presentation by Action Director Jinky Gardner and Director Adena Ishii about voter education services and the March primaries.
Everybody agreed on the positive impact their work with the League has on their lives, expressing that it is extremely engaging and always something to look forward to among a sometimes overwhelming sea of obligations.
“I’m learning more than I expectedI would,” said Cynthia Deng, nonprofit administrative intern, who also described the internship program as offering a break from too much pressure and stress. “We were told that at our age, that going into an internship, all you’re going to do is basically file papers. It’s more of an opportunity to learn and grow, instead of being stressed out.”
At the meeting were internship program familiar faces (Directors Kandea Mosley and Adena Ishii, Communications Director Linda Carothers, Schools & Communities First! Intern Cameron Amianda, Nonprofit Administrative Intern Cynthia Deng, and Communications Intern Laszlo Zim) and two new faces (new Action Intern Kai Kai Spencer and Action Director Jinky Gardner).
Each attendee described their favorite accomplishments from working with the League in 2019 and what they looked forward to this year . Everyone was proud of making progress on their own League projects. Nonprofit Administrative Intern Cynthia described the satisfaction she felt watching the Google Drive, which she was helping clean and organize, clear up. Schools & Communities First! Intern Cameron was proud of reaching milestones while creating an informational video about Proposition 13 reform. Action Director Jinky’s highlight was an interview with Assemblywoman Buffy Wicks that she organized in collaboration with other nearby Leagues. Director Kandea and Communications Director Linda both expressed their pleasure with working with the interns and watching them grow. “You’re like sponges soaking in knowledge and watching that is so marvelous,” Linda said.
League leaders and interns alike said they looked forward to an action-packed year due to the upcoming elections. Director Adena and Action Team Leader Jinky both hope to return to Voter Services this year. Nonprofit Administrative Intern Cynthia, who has written League articles about the census in the past, said she was personally very excited for the census.
Action Team Intern Kai Kai was also looking forward to tracking Berkeley Measures O & P, regarding affordable housing and the need for more services for unhoused people, and their implementation.
“I’m really excited about that because I feel like if you asked people in Berkeley what’s the number one problem we’re facing, I think the majority would say homelessness,” Action Team Intern Kai Kai said.
Finally, Action Director Jinky and Director Adena presented on voter education services, giving a brief tour of the Voter’s Edge website. This led into a helpful discussion about the primaries and how they work, especially in California. The group discussed what the League is doing nationally to fight voter suppression, especially in key locations such as swing states. They also discussed how to motivate voters, who may just care about the general presidential election and may abstain from voting in the primaries or voting on measures and propositions. The meeting ended with Director Adena showing an advertisement in Tagalog for the census, highlighting the importance of positive social pressure and making sure all community members are counted.
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