Making Democracy Work

Summer Intern Reflection

Interns reflect on their summer in the LWV office

Commemorating the Past and Empowering the Future - Civic Participation

By Corinne Kwapis and Rosie Drinkhouse 8/4/2016

The League of Women Voters proves that democracy is not a spectator sport. We stood in awe of the volunteers in the joint office who devote their time and talents to advance suffrage and voting rights in the community. This summer, some of our tasks included assembling a voter's guide, and helping to plan the Celebrate the Vote festival. With endurance and positivity, the LWV achieved a record breaking candidate response rate for the August primary voter guide. We increased social media outreach and multiplied youth engagement by connecting with area high schools to volunteer and attend the Celebrate the Vote Festival. In step with local issues, we conducted research for advocacy projects and collaborated with community coalitions to advance voter education and opportunity. We bonded with volunteers in the office, especially on field trips with Linda and Kathleen, who enhanced our understanding of citizenship by taking us to voter registration drives and naturalization ceremonies.

Although we could not vote in the election, or attend the festival, we formed valuable, intergenerational relationships at the St. Louis League of Women Voters. From writing press releases, to making coffee, we have seen positive examples of women who live full and fulfilling lives, tangibly impact civic engagement, and actively contribute to a positive office environment. Though the political affiliation of the LWV varies across the membership, respect and friendship remain the common denominator. More importantly, the League and its volunteers taught us many lessons and shared their infinite wisdom on working together, organizing for a purpose, and supporting voting rights for all. Through our time in the office, we increased our personal understanding of the importance of local politics and augmented our affinity for politics and civic responsibility. Though our internship has ended, and college is starting soon, we will treasure the mentorship, encouragement, and excitement that the LWV had to offer.