Students intern for midterm candidates


Volunteers for Katie Hill’s campaign pose for a photo. Printed with permission of Tali Tufeld.

Luke Schneider

In the months leading up to the midterm elections, many students volunteered and interned for candidates across Los Angeles and California.

Tali Tufeld ’20 and Griffin Gunn-Meyers ’19, two of the many students who interned for candidates, worked for Katie Hill, now a U.S. Representative-elect for the 25th District, in the time leading up to the election.

“I found her campaign through Swing Left, an organization that gives people really easy access to volunteer with campaigns near them,” Tufeld said. “I then read more about her and her positions on a wide variety of issues, finding that most of them are very similar to mine.”

Tufeld and Gunn-Meyers held a variety of different jobs when they worked for Hill. Gunn-Meyers said that they spent the most time calling supporters and otherwise canvassing.

Clay Skaggs ’20, who worked in the district office of Congresswoman Judy Chu, said his work allowed him to connect with the surrounding community.

“The office’s work is mainly public service to her constituents rather than policy,” Skaggs said. “The caseworkers connect constituents with federal agencies. This service includes helping people become citizens, settling social security matters, handling veterans affairs and more. The work at this level is very non-partisan and just focused on helping people.”

Skaggs said that he particularly enjoyed talking with Congresswoman Chu.

“My favorite experience was getting to meet the Congresswoman and talk with her about politics,” Clay Skaggs ’20 said. “She was super open to everybody’s opinion.”

Emmanuel Zilber ’19, who has worked for Gavin Newsom since 2017, said his work changed as they neared the election.

“A lot of time was spent calling [Democratic] delegates and attempting to pitch Newsom and his policies so that they would pick him,” Zilber said. “Over the course of the campaign, this shifted to general texts and voter phone calls, helping out at campaign events and learning about the financial aspects of the campaign.”

Zilber said he enjoyed his internship, as he was able to become very familiar with Newsom’s platform.

“The campaign was also a great learning experience in how large campaigns are coordinated and won, ranging from electoral to financial strategies,” Zilber said.