The League of Women Voters of Berkeley, Albany, Emeryville’s Winter/Spring semester of the 2022 Internship Program is coming to a close. The interns gathered on June 12th for a final meeting to discuss their experiences.
There were eight interns aiding various League teams: DEI (diversity, equity, and inclusion), climate change, criminal justice, communications and housing. The interns, who’s responsibilities include monitoring and summarizing city council meetings for the League’s on-line newsletter, play an important role in bridging the communication gap between the public and their local representatives.
Some interns also helped with the League’s virtual candidate forums for the Alameda County Election. They discussed the importance of local races and how those elections relate to national politics. Arabella Loste from the DEI team enthused about her research into AAPI (Asian American and Pacific Islander) heritage month and the history of Hawaii’s resistance to colonialism.
Others reflected on their experience working with the League. Climate intern Jaden Shochet shared that she “…learned what getting things done on a local level actually looks like.”
“One project that I will continue even when I’m not an intern anymore is the DEI Youth Team at Albany High with my fellow intern Alex,” said Emma Martinez, a DEI intern, “I feel like I’ve been given a place where I can grow and speak my mind.”
The meeting closed with some advice from a special guest.
Emma Ishii, a former social services policy advocate for the office of Alameda County Supervisor Keith Carson, joined the call to talk about her experiences working in the world of politics and public policy. Ishii is especially interested in mental health, criminal justice reform and homelessness. During the Covid-19 pandemic, she worked closely with local housing advocates and agencies to craft eviction moratorium policies for Alameda County. She advised the interns to create a sustainable balance between their work and personal life if they choose to go into public service. She urged them to trust their instincts and to share their valuable perspectives with the world.
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