All posts by Alexis

Interning at Gavin Newsom’s Campaign for Lieutenant Governor of California

After clinging to the comfort of undergraduate education for five years at my university in Austin, Texas, the time came to load up the truck, sedate the cat, and drive the 1,789 miles back to my family home in the Bay Area. Driving literally and figuratively toward my future, a Moriarty-esque companion would have been a welcome change from the mostly flat, unpopulated areas through which I-40 runs. Instead, my companion was my own mind, which ran a looped broadcast of the same thought: “What am I going to do with my life?”

Luckily, a week after making the journey back to my hometown, FaceBook led me to an opportunity (other than the opportunity to procrastinate). I chanced upon a recent post by San Francisco Mayor Gavin Newsom calling for interns to join his campaign for Lieutenant Governor of California. One interview and two weeks later I had joined the family at “Newsom Land” with a bevy of other young interns.

Most interns begin their day at the civilized hour of ten in the morning. Such was the case on my first day in mid-July. After a brief introduction to the obligatory guidelines and relaxed office atmosphere, we began our first project: identifying supporters. Equipped with highlighters, pens, and an endless pile of names, we began our work in utter silence. For an hour we continued in this fashion, all undoubtedly trying to be productive in spite of being distracted by the obvious question: when were we going to meet Mayor Newsom?

I’d lost myself to the data entry entirely, completing each sheet with a rhythmic enthusiasm fueled by first day jitters. The silence persisted until a suited figure appeared from behind the partition.  “Can’t we get some music in here?”

I turned to the intern next to me and inquired after her views on Lady Gaga.  Interns at other tables followed suit and the office became pleasantly cacophonous with the varied musical tastes of my coworkers. Mayor Newsom soon came to every station and personally thanked each of us for our time. I shook his hand and told him that I took his advice and was the first to break the silence to the tune of “Alejandro”. I sincerely hope my suggestion to bring in Lady Gaga for a campaign concert is taken seriously.

Now in our second week, interns and volunteers have gotten used to Mayor Newsom’s presence at campaign headquarters. It’s a mutually distracting relationship; he’ll crack jokes about installing a bowling ally as we call undecided voters; we’ll banter with him as staffers coax him back to important meetings. We all affirm the common perception: Mayor Newsom is an extremely personable individual. More importantly, we enjoy being able to attach our stars to a man who espouses our political philosophy and has therefore earned our respect and support.

Waking up to catch the bullet train from the South Bay, I know I’m headed to an office brimming with dedicated individuals. The occasional outburst of laughter brought puts us all at ease as we create a campaign, block by block, to ensure that citizens of California elect a strong leader who has demonstrated countless times that he talks the talk and walks the walk. Since the first day, I’ve become increasingly confident about the importance of my roll in the campaign. Not only will the experience be professionally rewarding for me as I seek more work after November 2nd, it’s also great to see our efforts come to fruition, be it voter turnout at weekend rallies or a full guest list for the office opening party. Most importantly for me, I’m stimulated and energized by working toward the tangible and crucial goal of helping Mayor Gavin Newsom become the next Lieutenant Governor of California.

Alexis is proud to be an intern with Gavin Newsom’s campaign for Lieutenant Governor of California. If you are interested in being an intern or a volunteer, please email Eric Lee at [email protected]