Opinions

My Revelations as an Intern on a Congressional Campaign

By: Charley Albert

Throughout the past few months, a great portion of my time has been spent interning for the Mikie Sherrill Campaign. On November 8th, Mikie Sherrill was reelected for her third time as Congresswoman of District 11. If you haven’t been following politics lately, you may remember her campaign from the ‘Mikie Sherrill US Congress’ signs sprawled across Bloomfield Avenue or her advertisements before what seemed like every YouTube video. I began volunteering for Mikie Sherrill when I was only a middle schooler in 2017, and have volunteered on each of her campaigns since. In the process, I have learned a whole lot about the nation and its politics.

Photo courtesy of mobilize.us

Working as an intern, I registered countless people to vote, constructed a great number of those lawn signs you see, and called hundreds of New Jersians across district eleven to spread the word about Mikie. During these tasks, I often found myself reflecting upon America’s politics, government, and democracy. From this, I have made a few significant conclusions.

First of all, I know a lot of people like to complain about all the efforts of political campaigns that I described before. The lawn signs are obnoxious. Those commercials and ads are everywhere. No one wants to be bombarded with political phone calls. These complaints are understandable and logical. But all of these seemingly annoying campaign tactics are symbolic. They come with democracy. They are a privilege. So even though political advertising can be annoying, it is a part of something both wonderful and intrinsic to our nation.

The second thing I realized working on Mikie Sherrill’s campaign was the importance of citizens in the election process. Congressional candidates, like Mikie, would be nowhere without their volunteers. The citizens are the ones who spread the word about congressional campaigns. They drop off lawn signs, organize events, and knock on doors despite their own busy lives. People are absolutely essential to the election process, and I cannot stress that enough. 

Photo courtesy of static01.nyt.com

My last reflection from my time on the campaign was about how easy it was to participate. I am still not the voting age and I have been working on campaigns for years. Mikie Sherrill and all the people who work with her warmly welcome volunteers. There was a beautiful and open community at this campaign, everyone was a valued member of the team. So, if you are passionate about politics, if there is a certain issue you really care about, or if you just want to show your patriotism, volunteering on a political campaign is something you should consider. 

Political participation is a beautiful thing. Just a few days ago, I was at a rally for Mikie Sherrill in Maplewood. A family lent their own home to the cause, hosting tons of people and politicians on their front lawn. Despite the rainy, cold weather, generations of people, from families with toddlers to couples in their eighties, came together. It warmed my heart to see so many people so passionate and hopeful for the future of the country. My time campaigning with Mike Sherrill taught me a lot, and it helped me form my own experiences with political participation and democracy. I would highly recommend you give it a try. 

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