Sam Riley ’23

Margaret Good for Congress, Sarasota, FL

This summer, through the generous support from the Estate of George Mead and the Alumni Sponsorship Internship Program, I had the privilege of working as a Finance Intern with Margaret Good for Congress. Congresswoman Good currently represents the 72nd District, which encompasses much of Sarasota County in the Florida State House of Representatives. I chose to work for Congresswoman Good because of her dedication to ending blatantly partisan politics that are hurting working families. It is clear that her commitment to her constituents outweighs any party loyalty. Her time in the State Congress, although brief, demonstrates an apparent willingness to do what is right for positive change, no matter the consequences.

As a Finance Intern, I worked on a variety of tasks and projects, including finance, communications, and organization. Ultimately, because our opponent was currently the 4th wealthiest member of the House of Representatives, most of my efforts were focused on researching potential donors and then reaching out to those who seemed likely to support our campaign. Our addition to the DCCC’s Red to Blue initiative in June brought national attention to the campaign; and to capitalize on our time in the spotlight, we expanded our donor search to include prospects from across the country in the hopes of attaining the kind of money necessary to run a successful campaign (an absurd/unsettling amount).

Conducting donor research afforded me the opportunity to work with top-of-the-line Democratic political software including NGP 8 and ActBlue; however, I found the work very repetitive. While conducting donor research often became monotonous, phone-banking was anything but. Every call was a completely different beast. Sometimes, I would call and no one would pick up. Sometimes, they would answer but would hang up shortly after I said the words, “Would you be willing to support….” And other times (roughly one call out of ten), they would answer and we would have an extremely interesting conversation about their concerns with the campaign, Covid-19, or just life in general. From these calls, I developed applicable skills for a future career in law and politics. I became incredibly in-tune to the concerns of the electorate; I sharpened my communicative abilities; I gained a more thorough understanding of political research and data management; and I significantly increased my knowledge about almost every major political issue. I am excited to see the benefits of the skills, knowledge and experience I garnered from working with Congresswoman Good’s campaign in the (virtual) classroom and in my future. Again, I thank the Mead Family for their investment in the lives of students like me.