Adin Lenchner ’12 served as an intern for the Joe Kennedy for Congress campaign during spring break, and for U.S. Senate candidate Elizabeth Warren during his winter break.
Mission accomplished: I think the biggest accomplishment for the Roosevelt Institute has been helping to build a culture of political engagement on campus. Students and faculty know they can count on the Roosevelt chapter to provide a space to discuss pressing issues and take ownership of them. Young people have historically been seen as politically apathetic and uninformed. Part of what Roosevelt strives to prove is that the idea of Millennial political apathy is a myth. If my experience at Wheaton and with Roosevelt is any evidence, while there is a lot of work to do, the hyperbole about my apathetic generation is overblown. The atmosphere of political and social discourse at Wheaton has grown in a meaningful way since I’ve been here and I am certain that Roosevelt played a hand in that.”
Working for Kennedy: I worked with the campaign staff on whatever projects they needed done. The first big effort of a campaign is to get on the ballot. To do so, the campaign needs to gather a certain number of certified signatures from voters in the district, so all the interns (or Springterns, as we were called) helped with that. I also worked on various projects from the press secretary, campaign manager, and field director.
Working for Warren: I interned directly for the press secretary. I helped her with day-to-day tasks. They included establishing media contacts, helping to write media advisories and doing advance research for campaign events to field press requests.
Political beliefs: I believe that politics are and should be a manifestation of a set of values and a broader vision of how society could be. For me, this notion has been anchored in the Jewish idea of Tzadakah. Tzadakah has come to be translated as the English word charity. The Hebrew root of the word, tzdek, translates as justice. The implication is that the physical manifestation of justice is the collective responsibility to help one another. This has a profound implication: justice must be made; it will not simply come to be. This mentality is one that has helped me to stay committed and passionate about politics.
Making progress: The work I have done and have helped campaigns to do that has been the most meaningful is traveling around the district and connecting with people and their families. Too often voices, thoughts, and concerns are left by the wayside as a result of disenfranchisement, apathy or cynicism. Connecting with individuals and organizing with them to make meaningful change in our communities and our country has been a powerful experience.