Two alumni from The Australian National University might help make history as part of Hillary Clinton’s campaign for the US Presidency.
Sariel Taylor Pindo (Bachelor of Policy Studies / Bachelor of Commerce ‘15) and her friend, Isabella McDougall (Bachelor of International Relations ‘14), became involved in the campaign since July and are working in the Los Angeles and Las Vegas campaign offices.
Sariel, a former School of Politics and International Relations student, described her experience so far.
Why did you decide to get involved in Hillary’s campaign?
I decided to get involved in Hillary Clinton’s campaign a long time ago! In addition to the amazing experience, I especially wanted to be a part of history in the hopeful election of the first female President of the United States.
What is your role and title?
My role in the campaign is extremely diverse and my title continues to evolve alongside the campaign. I initially helped open and manage our Hillary for California Campaign Headquarters in Los Angeles. However, in the last six or so weeks leading up to the election, I have been coordinating our border state efforts, specifically sending Californians to Nevada to volunteer to get out the vote and hopefully turn Nevada blue!
Can you describe a typical day? Are you in an office, or door knocking etc.?
There really are no such things as typical days in any political campaign… they do however all seem to be long (but worthwhile) days as our office is open 9 am - 9 pm every day. Given the national campaign tactics change every hour, we have to be flexible each day.
I have primarily been based in our Campaign Office however as the election has been getting closer I have also been spending significant amounts of time in Las Vegas registering voters, door knocking and assisting campaign efforts there.
What snacks are powering you through?
Being in America, the food we are relying on is sadly fast and typically unhealthy. Coffee seems to be powering everybody through!
Have you been able to apply anything you’ve learned from ANU into your current role?
I have absolutely been able to apply many skills and knowledge I developed at ANU! Through studying Political Science and Management, I have been able to put a lot of theory into practice. Additionally, my time in Washington DC as part of the Washington Internship Program also prepared me well for the fast paced political environment here in the United States.
Do you know where you’ll be on Election Day?
By Election Day I will have returned from Nevada and will likely be at a Get Out the Vote staging location here in LA. Like other hundreds of volunteers, I will be calling into swing states from 6am until we are notified to stop, ensuring people get to the polls and cast their vote!
Is the LA office a diverse place? Are you the only international student there?
Our office in LA is extremely diverse with a mix of genders, ages and backgrounds and rich in a vast range of skills and experience. It is very motivating having everyone work together on something we are all so inspired to do. My friend Isabella McDougall, a fellow ANU alumni (Bachelor of International Relations) also joined me in coming to the US to campaign for Hillary Clinton. It has been great to have her as a friend, confidant and colleague through this entire experience along with many other friends we have had the pleasure of meeting along the way.
Lastly, what’s next for you after the election?
As for what comes immediately after the election, I profoundly hope to celebrate a significant victory! Afterwards, Isabella and I will be travelling, making our way to Washington DC in January for the Inauguration of the President (in hopes of witnessing herstory)! Afterwards, I plan on returning back to ANU to complete my Honours program in Political Science.