My Public Policy and Administration Program Internship took place at California Common Cause. I began as a volunteer in February of 2006, which quickly turned into an internship, followed by a fellowship. I have now been working at California Common Cause as its Northern California Organizer since January 2007. California Common Cause is a non-profit, non-partisan citizens’ lobby organization working to hold public officials and public institutions accountable to the people. California Common Cause’s current focuses include redistricting reform, public financing of elections, and media reform.
Its budget is composed of membership donations and grant funding. It has offices in Sacramento and Los Angeles with six paid employees, including myself. California Common Cause is the state organization for the national Common Cause. While California Common Cause provides state support for national issues, it mainly focuses on the state and local level within California. I was very excited to have the opportunity to volunteer for California Common Cause and am thrilled that it has turned into a full time position. I have been a member for many years, during which I was always impressed by the organization’s work.
I particularly like its emphasis on remaining non-partisan, working solely for the common good of all Californians. Due to the small number of employees and the diversity of the work, I was able to participate on a huge variety of projects, including redistricting reform efforts, researching state campaign contributions, summarizing state bills and drafting letters of support or opposition of bills, writing sample letters to the editor and political officials for CCC members, organizing public financing efforts in the San Jose region, writing CauseNets, our “Action Alerts”, and updating the website. Redistricting Reform One of California Common Cause’s main focuses is promoting redistricting reform. Currently, the State Legislature draws political districts for state and Congressional representatives. California Common Cause sees this as a clear conflict of interest. Politicians are basically picking and choosing whom to include in their own districts, allowing them to draw districts that will be most beneficial to their reelection. As such, California Common Cause has been working with a coalition of various interest
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