Over the course of the summer, we've had the privilege of working with a team of six smart, dedicated, talented young people through our Democracy Fellowship program, in partnership with the Foundation for Civic Leadership and Democracy Matters. You may have seen them at walks, fairs, or other events, but here's your chance to get to know them! Today, Kimberly:
I was born and raised in Southern California, Los Angeles Country specifically, for 17 years of my life and then moved up to rural Humboldt Country to attend college. I am entering my fourth year at Humboldt State University as a Political Science major and a double minor in Communications and Social Advocacy. For the past three years I have concentrated my studies in domestic politics, I’ve learned how policy is made, how the media has influenced our politics, how elections work and many other aspects of political science. Politics have become my life, what can I say? My name is Kimberly Manriquez and I’m a 20-year-old whose life is U.S. politics.
Even before I went off to college I volunteered as much as I could in campaigns, from California’s governor Jerry Brown’s election to my local El Monte mayoral election. However, it wasn’t until I went off to college that I began to see the real inner workings of campaigns. I joined Roosevelt Institute | Campus Networks my sophomore year and saw how difficult it could be to make new effective policy pass any level of government. Later, during the summer of 2014 I spend my time volunteering for Hilda Solis on her campaign for Los Angeles County Supervisor and saw how much time was being spent fundraising for the campaign. Then my junior year I was given then opportunity to build a chapter of Democracy Matters on my campus.
While building the Democracy Matters chapter I began to learn how much big money in politics could influence a campaign and beyond. When I heard of the opportunity to be a summer fellow for the summer I took it, so here I am in New Hampshire working for Democracy Matters, alongside of Open Democracy.
Being in New Hampshire has been a massive difference from both where I grew up and where I attend school. Humboldt may be rural but nothing like New Hampshire. One of the things that I have really liked about New Hampshire is the candidate events. NH is one of the only places where one can go to a town hall meeting and get to hear a presidential candidate speak and at the end go up to them and ask a question, get a picture or shake their hand. I could only dream of being able to do that in California.