When 16-year-old Adam Oriola of Carlisle recently decided to join a structured intern program within Mike Barrett's campaign for the Massachusetts State Senate -- signing up for everything from door-to-door canvassing to making phone calls -- he found himself in agreeable company. Barrett, a Democrat, has attracted 24 interns in their late teens and early 20s, each of whom has worked 10-30 hours a week this summer for the campaign.
Heather Cain, a rising senior at UMass Amherst, says Barrett's interns form a tight team. Discussion and learning are involved, too; candidate Barrett joins the interns for two seminars each week. Topics range from the role of money in politics to the math behind the gas tax.
Rachael Weiss of Sudbury, a rising sophomore at American University, says, “In one seminar, we talked about the average age of the voters we’re meeting door to door. Few young people are involved in local politics." She's chosen to go against the grain.
Intern Charlie Sweeney, another rising senior at UMass Amherst, says, "I've had many conversations with Mike. You can tell he sincerely means each word he says and will stick by it, while also remaining open to new ideas."