Gil Cisneros

Getting into politics

Wanting to be part of the political world, Jonathan Kamanta and Kareem Majeed found themselves in the middle of one of the biggest political events of 2018, the midterm elections. By interning for Gil Cisneros, they received a front row seat on the electoral process from start to end.

Kamanta and Majeed had an interest in the midterm elections and were searching for opportunities online when they found that a local resident was running for a seat in the House of Representatives. After contacting Cisneros’ office, they were offered an internship for his campaign and accepted.

“I wanted to get involved with the elections and voting wasn’t an option since we aren’t 18 yet. Kareem and I wanted our voices heard and found the solution through interning for Cisneros. It was a really inclusive internship. It wasn’t just doing paperwork and basic office work. We actually got real experiences and many networking opportunities from that internship that we wouldn’t have gotten,” Kamanta said.

Working 20 to 25 hours a week for five months, Kamanta and Majeed attended community festivals, colleges and religious establishments throughout Southern California to help promote Cisneros and his goals. They learned how to write memos and briefs to help prepare Cisneros for speeches and keep him informed on current events.

“We live in a bubble where most of our friends share the same opinions as us, typically. It was good to get out of that and engage with people who have starkly different views. It was also good to see politics at the smallest level, grassroots organization,” Majeed said.

They learned to adapt quickly, organize events, write excerpts and communicate clearly, and they also plan to apply these newly learned skills to their majors, as Kamanta and Majeed plan to major Political Science and International Affairs, respectively.

“Interning for Cisneros was really beneficial. It really helped me ascertain that I wanted to major in International Affairs,” Kamanta said. “Through the internship, we learned many skills and life lessons and hope to apply it in the future.”

By Philbert Loekman, Scene editor
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