By John FitzSimons ’18
While many Long Islanders focus on the primaries for the upcoming 2016 Presidential Election, the office of Nassau County Attorney General and some seats in the Nassau County Legislature are up for grabs in the local elections this November. Ms. Crystal Berger, a field organizer for the Nassau County Democratic Party, visited Chaminade on Tuesday, October 6, 2015 to inform juniors and seniors about campaigning, the voting process and internship opportunities.
Even though Ms. Berger provided a plethora of information about local politics, those who attended the presentation were most interested in the internship opportunities she discussed.
When asked about the work, Ms. Berger said, “The work is lots of fun. The only requirements are the time to do it and some energy, but it’s very easy.”
Examples of tasks interns may be required to complete are organizing events, reaching out to the electorate, and persuading potential voters to support the candidate. She also stressed the value of connections, communication skills, and experience in politics.
“Her presentation certainly persuaded me to consider working as an intern because it’s a great opportunity to enact change in my community and gain the experience needed to be successful in life,”said Patrick Loftus ’17.
Since the Class of 2016 will soon be able to vote, Ms. Berger instructed the audience on how to become a registered voter. She went over some common ways to register to vote, which include in person, online through the Department of Motor Vehicles’ website, or by mail.
She also clarified the most common mistake people make when they vote, which is registering as Independents. Many people register as Independent, but do not realize that they meant to register as unaffiliated; they have actually registered for a political party named the Independent Party.
Last, Ms. Berger discussed the tactics she uses on the campaign trail. She stressed that direct contact with the voters along with organization are the keys to a successful campaign. For example, she claimed that for every 40 phone calls made to voters, only one voter is persuaded to vote.
“I am surprised that it takes that many attempts to get a vote,” said John Geslani ’17.
Ms. Berger’s presentation to the juniors and seniors of Chaminade High School was very informative and useful for when they decide to vote in the future. Chaminade’s students are certainly very thankful and appreciative of the effort made by Mr. Robert O’Keefe ’04, Mr. Patrick Kemp ’04, and Mr. William Carriero ’69 to present them with the opportunity to obtain all of this information.
For more information or a form to apply for the internship opportunity Ms. Berger presented, please see Mr. Kemp.