Civic Mobilization: Damian Richardson '20

Damian Richardson
Damian Richardson

Throughout this summer, we will be spotlighting the summer experiences of our IOP students working in politics and public service through their internships across the country and globe.

The Director’s Internship program has been a signature of the Institute of Politics for nearly 25 years and each summer the IOP works with more than 150 government offices, non-profits, and news organizations to provide internships for students who are looking to pursue careers in politics and public service. The IOP also offers summer stipends for rising sophomores, juniors, and seniors accepting non- or low-paying summer internships in local, state, or federal government, public interest groups, non-governmental organizations, political organizations, and political campaigns.

This summer, as in years past, many of those students will be spending their summer working in civic mobilization - participating in organizations that are working to increase civic engagement and education.

Damian Richardson '20 is spending his summer interning with Kamala Harris For The People in New Hampshire.

What inspired you to choose this public service internship?

I decided I wanted to help elect Kamala Harris the next president of the United States after seeing her in action on the Senate Judiciary Committee. In June 2017, Jeff Sessions admitted that her sharp questioning made him feel "nervous." In that moment, I knew that Kamala was going to be the best person to take up the Democratic mantle and make the entire opposition feel nervous. She hasn't disappointed. 

What issues have you been focusing on in your internship?

I work with the political team to build relationships with local elected officials and grassroots leaders in New Hampshire. My favorite part of my job is recruiting college students to be volunteer leaders on their campuses. Involving young voices is critical to a successful campaign, and this job has allowed me to build a diverse and vibrant team of students who are eager to play an important role in the next election. 

What are you most excited about working in public service and government?

I am most excited to continue doing the work of amplifying voices that are generally left out of mainstream politics. 

What have you learned from or gotten out of your internship experience this summer?

This summer, I have learned the ins and outs of a major presidential campaign in an early state. Every small task I have done has been building up to a strong showing for Kamala in New Hampshire on February 11---and, by extension, a launching pad from which to win the Democratic nomination. Knowing that I have played a small part in Kamala's path to victory is extremely gratifying.