The LWVBAE Interns of Spring 2023

Interns 2-23

Kandea Mosley Gandhi, Cate Menotti, Adena Ishii, Jinky Gardner, Linda Carothers, Katelyn Llao, Jenny Bahn, Sangey Palshertsang, Naomi Amianda, Rinta Taira

Meet the new and returning interns of the League of Women Voters of Berkeley, Albany, and Emeryville!

To ring in 2023, the LWVBAE inducted their newest batch of interns for the spring and summer half of the year in an orientation on January 22, 2023. The attendees, including the interns and LWVBAE board members Kandea Mosley Gandhi, Jinky Gardner, and Adena Ishii, joined together via a Zoom call on the Sunday afternoon. The meeting was a vital introduction to the internship program hosted by the LWVBAE for local high school and college students, providing them with background about the organization and program while allowing the new interns to get to know each other.

Wanting to keep up with the new year spirit, Adena Ishii, a League of Women Voters of California Board Member, introduced an icebreaker game involving the attendees’ Chinese Zodiac Animals. Each of the interns and members shared a little bit about themselves while sharing their signs, comparing their attributes and characteristics to those of the animals from the year they were born. New intern Katelyn Liao compared herself to her animal, the dog, by explaining that she was similar to them by being outgoing and loyal. On the other hand, LWVBAE President Kandea Mosley Gandhi gave an example of being affectionate like the animal of her year, the rabbit.

While the previous intern intake consisted of students primarily from Albany High School and closely followed by students from Berkeley High School, this year’s interns were approximately equally from both high schools. For this semester, Sangey Palshertsang and Katelyn Liao are both the newest criminal justice interns. Solo interns Rinta Taira and Jenny Banh are the climate change and healthcare interns, respectively. Lastly, returning interns Cate Menotti and Maggie Ju are continuing with the communications team, and Naomi Amianda will fill in for them in the summer when they graduate high school.

After the meeting attendees gave introductions about themselves through their respective birth-year animals, Jinky provided them all with an overview of the League’s history – specifically that of the local League’s. Jinky explained the origins of our local League in Berkeley, and how it began as a way for women (who had just gained the right to vote over a century ago) to educate themselves and others to insure that they’d be informed voters. Following this debrief of the history, Board Member Adena and President Kandea explained the hierarchical structure of the national, state, regional, county, and local leagues.

Now, almost two months into the internship, the interns have finally settled into their positions. Interns are now writing articles, posting information, and doing research on local politics and events. Before closing out the meeting, intern Cate Menotti led an activity where each attendee brought an item that was significant to them to show the others on Zoom. When sharing what

they’d remember most from this orientation, President Kandea remarked remembering a book about the world in 1977 that Sangey brought to the spontaneous show-and-tell. New intern Rinta Taira said that he’d, “…remember the structure of the league and getting to meet and know all of the new interns.”

The interns are so excited to continue the rest of this semester with their work, and they logged off this Zoom call with fresh ideas and opportunities in mind!

  • Adena’s Icebreaker – Chinese Zodiac Signs
  • Adena Ishii
    • Horse – very chatty
    • Rupaul drag race dolls – got it as a gift from the exec director of Calif LWV, organizing a drag show for the CA LWV event, got it after meeting the exec director for the first time
    • Going to remember the show and tell icebreaker
  • Katelyn Liao
    • Dog – outgoing, loyal, kind, honest
    • Junior at Berkeley High
    • Water bottle, had since middle school, has lots of stickers (collection of memories)
    • Criminal justice
    • Going to remember the conversation about zodiacs
  • Cate Menotti
    • Monkey – curious
    • Bart toy
    • comms
  • Naomi Amianda
    • Horse – active, energetic
    • Born in Kenya, lived in NJ, now in CA and goes to BHS
    • Guitar, in Kenya didn’t have the resources to learn how to play the guitar but now can in CA
    • Spring/summer and onwards comms
    • Remember getting to know everyone here
  • Rinta Taira
    • Dog – honest, hardworking
    • Junior at Albany High, relearning piano
    • Polar bear stickers, used to organize stuff
    • Climate
    • Going to remember the structure of the league and getting to know everyone
  • Sangey Palshertsang
    • Monkey – smart
    • Senior at Albany, from Sichuan China, likes photography
    • Book – events of 1977, likes history
    • Criminal Justice
    • Going to remember how his camera broke and Rinta’s stickers
  • Linda Carothers
    • Pig – passionate
    • Carnegie Tech (now Carnegie Mellon), likes to collect family history
    • Showed a Pop-up card sent by her step-daughter, from Indonesia, showing both of them and UC Berkeley campanile.
    • Going to remember all of the characters here
  • Jenny Banh
    • Missed it
    • Went to BHS, UCSB, and now at foothill college
    • Plush bear toy, got it after a major surgery several years ago, inspired her to join the healthcare team at LWV
    • Healthcare
    • Remember how cool everyone is
  • Kandea
    • Rabbit (her year!) – affectionate
    • Book – The Black World Dictionary of 20th-Century Social Thought
      • History is often written by the rulers
      • Her mother gave it to her
    • Will remember Sangey’s 1977 book
  • Jinky
    • Rooster – h
    • From LA, went to LAHS, and then Cal
    • Archeology underwater
    • A picture frame that had images to do with being at an archaeology shipwreck (Manila Galleons) site
      • History is a written record of human history – you can only record it if you were literate → certain people were able to tell stories. Archaeology was physical evidence which tells stories about the common people
    • Going to remember everything because taking notes. Going to enjoy learning about everyone and what they are doing in the future


  • Overview of LWV History – Jinky
    • Group of faculty wives that got together in 1911 when women got the right to vote in CA
      • CA women got the right to vote earlier than other states
    • They figured they’d better get together to find out what was going on in the government so they’d be informed voters
    • LWV assembled themselves country-wide after the amendment was passed
    • Over time, expanding membership (first white women, then white men, then expanded to others)
    • Wants to provide information to voters


  • Structure – Adena + Kandea
    • Hierarchy – national, state, regional, county, local
    • Started doing voter registration and information, transitioned to doing some advocacy
    • Policies based on studies that they do, use multiple positions to make decisions and decide stances
    • Non partisan, yet hyper political
    • When becoming a dues-paying member, you help to support anti-voter suppression actions
    • Stands in opposition to voter suppression
      • LWV fights hard in states where voters are being deterred (ex. Georgia, Texas, etc.)
    • Non-profit, grassroots
    • At the state and national level, staff and lobbyists exist
  • Program structure
    • Spreadsheet with goals + objectives of the entire semester
    • When you meet is dependent on your team
    • Interns have the opportunity to have internal meetings as well as external events that they attend and share back to the league/their group
    • Service-learning reports
      • Help the leaders add what the interns want to learn about and do
    • The number of hours per week depends on your work plan and how much you want to do
      • Interns in the past enjoy this because of the break from some of the rigidity that school gives them
    • Check out the league socials!


–Cate Menotti

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