Students said getting involved in 2020 campaigns over the summer helped them feel more connected


Source: Mara Kelly

Weinberg junior Mara Kelly is an intern with Marie Newman’s campaign. Kelly said she hopes to take the upcoming winter quarter off to work full time on Newman’s campaign.

Baylor Spears, Reporter

This summer, many Northwestern students got involved in the 2020 election cycle by working on national campaigns. Students said their work not only allowed them to get involved in U.S. politics, but it also gave them the opportunity to connect with new, passionate people working toward the same cause.

McCormick senior Mitch Price said that after smooth interviews with campaign staff, he was given the opportunity to work as a data analytics intern for U.S. Sen. Cory Booker’s (D-N.J.) presidential campaign.

“Overall, I thought it was a really incredible experience that I grew a lot from,” Price said. “I met some really incredible people who are doing some really incredible work — people who I consider really good friends now.”

During his first week working on Booker’s presidential campaign, Price said he was surprised when he was given access to the campaign’s social media accounts and tasked to “figure out what works and what doesn’t.”

“I felt included from day one,” Price said. “They didn’t just give me work that was busywork. It was things that actually had an impact on the campaign. They gave me a lot of ownership over my work which was really great.”

Weinberg junior Mara Kelly also reflected positively on her experience thus far campaigning for Marie Newman, who’s running for Illinois’ 3rd Congressional District against U.S. Rep. Dan Lipinski (D-Western Springs). She described it as one of the best things she’s chosen to participate in.

Kelly said her previous employer at NARAL Pro-Choice America helped her connect with Newman’s campaign last spring. She started off as a volunteer and later landed an intern position for the campaign. She works at least one day a week canvassing and spreading Newman’s message to Illinois residents.

“A really big thing on the campaign is learning how to communicate and have conversations with people who might disagree with you or may not have heard of you or may not be completely on board,” Kelly said.

Kelly said she hopes to take the upcoming winter quarter off to work full-time on Newman’s campaign. She said she would also like to do the same in the fall of 2020 for a presidential campaign.

“I believe we are at a really critical moment in our country’s history of politics,” Kelly said. “I think it’s really important that we all do our best.”

Northwestern alumna Dalia Jude (Medill ’19) currently works as an organizer for Pete Buttigieg’s presidential campaign in New Hampshire. She took the job in July despite having no prior campaigning experience.

Jude said it was the combination of her past enrollment in the Northwestern course “Politics, Media and The Republic,” and her passion for Buttigieg’s message that made her decide to go into campaigning work.

“I knew that (campaigning) would be a world of its own and it would be challenging,” Jude said. “But what I wasn’t really expecting was to feel such a strong sense of purpose and meaning every single day and to be surrounded by such inspiring and driven people on this campaign.”

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