Hello! My name is Meg Rierson and I am writing about my SEC-funded summer internship. I’m currently working as an intern for the Operations Director of the Minnesota Democratic Farmer Labor Party, which, MN is the Minnesota branch of the national Democratic Party. As an operations intern, I am helping my supervisor, Heidi Kraus, plan the Minnesota delegation’s role in the National Democratic Convention, which I will also attend as a delegation page. My job involves a lot of emails and phone calls between me, the national delegates, and the DFL staff. The thrill of professionalism and adulthood that comes with answering your personal DFL phone line with “Minnesota DFL, this is Meg,” quickly wears off once you realize just how many strangers have your phone number, which is about right after the second phone call.
This is an extraordinarily exciting, albeit terrifying, time to be working for the party because it is a presidential election year, so I get the opportunity to attend major party events with lots of established and up-and-coming Minnesota politicians. Minnesota is famous for being a staunchly Democratic state with prominent legislators like Senators Amy Klobuchar and Al Franken, but one of my favorite parts of the internship so far has been interacting with politicians that operate at a more local level. Working for the DFL has definitely crystallized my appreciation for our local politicians who work to make Minnesota such a politically progressive state. In fact, on my first day in the DFL office, I was given a list of the state House and Senate representatives to become familiar with—creepy, but a cool kind of creepy.
I’ve only been on the job for a little over a week and I’ve already attended some incredible events. Last Saturday was the Minnesota DFL State Convention, where I helped register delegates (read: herd cats) and operate one of the microphones on the floor of the convention when delegates had questions or wanted to participate in debate. It was a contentious convention to be sure, with a lot of spirited debate between the passionate supporters of Hillary and Bernie. There were even some boos coming from the crowd when Governor Mark Dayton and Senator Klobuchar endorsed Hillary. That’s a big deal for Minnesotans, because booing at a Minnesota gathering is about the equivalent of arson in any other state in terms of offensiveness.
On Monday, I volunteered at a luncheon for WomenWinning, an organization centered around the goal of recruiting and endorsing pro-choice women for Minnesotan political positions. There was a literal parade of lady leaders from Minnesota, Madeleine Albright spoke, I almost passed out from sheer joy, good times were had by all.
My big projects for the next few weeks are to get all of our staff booked on flights to the convention in Philadelphia, organize the entire delegation’s housing and travel plans, give my input on some cool souvenirs for the delegate goodie bags (there was talk of flash tats…), and help my boss with any other projects that will help the convention go smoothly. Thanks for reading! Democracy! Yeah!