By Sierra Yamanaka, Arizona Democratic National Committeewoman
[Editor’s Note: The deadline for applications is April 8th! Don’t sit on this opportunity!]
In the summer of 2014, I walked into a campaign office for the very first time, not knowing anything about what to expect. I was a junior in college, a political science major, and it seemed like the perfect time for an internship. I knew it was an election year, and I knew I wanted to work for Democrats. Beyond that, I wasn’t entirely sure what I was signing myself up for.
Turns out that being an organizer completely changed my life. I got an in-depth look at all of the offices on the ballot that year; I learned how to launch canvasses, hold phone banks and run a campaign office. I learned how to best interact with different kinds of people. But most of all, being an organizer gave me a confidence I had never had before. It was the very first step in launching my career, helping me build connections across the state. Because of that experience, I am now Arizona’s National Committeewoman on the DNC, the first Asian-American woman to serve in that role.
The thing about being an organizer is that it is your job to empower both volunteers and voters to engage in our political process. You are the encouraging face who helps someone get over the hurdle of knocking on a door for the first time, or (my favorite) registering someone to vote for the first time. It is incredibly rewarding to talk with a voter who would not have gone out to the polls if you had not had a conversation with them that day.
I say all of this because now, it is your turn to empower Arizonans to participate in our democracy. Arizona needs its students to step up into this role, not because we are the future, but because we are the present. The issues Arizona faces impact our generation and the ones that follow even more than those of our parents and grandparents.
We held that Congressional seat in 2014 because of the work of the organizers. We won a Congressional seat, a U.S. Senate seat and three other statewide offices in 2018 because of the work of organizers. In 2020, it will be organizers who put a Democrat back in the White House, and help us flip another Congressional seat and the Arizona State Legislature. You can help be the difference.
The best part is, you don’t have to go in blind like I did. The Arizona Democratic Party is launching Organizing Corps 2020. Over eight weeks this summer, OC2020 members will learn how to be organizers in their own communities in Arizona. We’ll make sure that you have opportunities to grow throughout the year so that you can join our field team in May of 2020 to help elect Democratic candidates across the state. Oh, and did I mention that this is a paid opportunity? You’ll learn how to change Arizona while earning some money at the same time. You’ll even be able to answer the exhausting question of “what’s next for you after graduation?” You’re going to be working to elect Democrats in Arizona in 2020.
I can’t think of anything that would be a better investment in Arizona’s future than cultivating the next generation of changemakers.
To sign up to be a crucial part in flipping Arizona in 2020, visit organizingcorps2020.com.