Copying fliers and running errands, transcribing speeches and maintaining websites were some of the tasks assigned to students who volunteered during the summer for mayoral, congressional and the presidential campaigns.
Tommy Chen ‘13, Jonathan Loewenberg ‘13, Jacob Pardo ‘14 and Miranda Van Iderstine ‘13 interned on Congressman Howard Berman’s reelection campaign.
“It has been an amazing hands-on experience,” van Iderstine said.
All four students pursued the internship via the Alumni Office, which arranged interviews.
“I’ve actually always had an interest in politics,” Pardo said. “It’s something I could see myself doing later in life. I thought that interning for the campaign would be a great place to start.”
“Sometimes we do tedious work, but all of it is ultimately important,” Van Iderstine said. “My favorite is attending debates and just talking to constituents.”
Samantha Maccabee ‘13 worked on Los Angeles city councilman Eric Garcetti’s ‘88 mayoral campaign.
Maccabee said she chose to intern for Garcetti because of their Harvard-Westlake connection. She worked mainly from his home, transcribing his and his opponents’ speeches from video, making donor spreadsheets and working to tag constituents on his campaign website.
“I have always been interested in politics and I thought, ‘this is a great opportunity for me to learn about policies and their effectiveness,’” Maccabee said. “Now when I do vote, I can make my own educated opinion.”
Claire Goldsmith ‘14 interned for three months for City Controller and mayoral candidate Wendy Greuel.
Goldsmith worked in the controller’s office last summer and decided to volunteer on the mayoral campaign because “I think she has all the qualities we need in the next mayor of Los Angeles. She has years of both business and government experience and a great vision for Los Angeles,” she said.
Goldsmith worked three days each week filing, processing donor contributions and soliciting donations. She plans to continue volunteering on the Greuel campaign after readjusting to the first few weeks of school.
“I think my favorite part of the job is learning how campaigns work, not just from a book but from actually doing it,” she said. “[It was] great to meet and eat lunch with someone who could be the next mayor of Los Angeles.”
Lucy Putnam ‘14 worked on President Barack Obama’s reelection campaign at its Los Angeles headquarters, and will continue working there once a week until the general election in November.
“I have wanted to work on a campaign since I remember,” she said. “Though I’ve talked politics with my family for years, this is the first I’ve felt I could make a difference and actually work on a presidential campaign.”
As an intern, Putnam outlined conference call discussions and organized volunteer lists via an online system.
Putnam said the best part of her job was working with others for a common goal: Obama’s reelection.
“We need to win this election to ensure our country does not backslide,” she said. “It is great to be with people who will stand up for your common values.”