Mitchell Kilborn

Princeton University '16

In a lucky twist of fate, I found out about Maine Citizens for Clean Elections (MCCE) while researching an independent work project during my junior year of college. I was very excited to find an opportunity which so perfectly fit my interest in campaign finance reform and my career goals. My experience with MCCE has been spectacular in a number of ways.

Working with MCCE represents an incredible opportunity to be involved with the frontier of campaign finance reform. MCCE leads the Mainers for Accountable Elections referendum, which will help restore Maine’s Clean Elections system and hopefully usher in once again a more egalitarian democracy in Maine. Success in this endeavor could trigger a wave of similar referenda across the country, putting a dent in the undue influence of money in politics.

At the same time as MCCE is at the center of a historic movement, it also is small enough that interns are given considerable responsibility and are able to make a meaningful contribution. For example, during my time at MCCE, I and my fellow interns were responsible for the success of a massive project in which we secured a donation from each of Maine’s 151 House of Representative’s Legislative Districts. Though just some college students, we helped the campaign to demonstrate that our effort has support from every corner of Maine. We were also involved in working with the political director to draft letters and prepare materials which would be used in securing endorsements from high level public officials. Towards the end of my internship, I was responsible for volunteer recruitment and running several phone banks. I learned about the operations of a non-profit and the fundamentals of grassroots organizing, skills which will be valuable in my future career.

The small size of the organization also means that the staff is close-knit and cohesive, creating a pleasant working environment. Even when performing traditional intern tasks, I never dreaded going to work due to the positive and energetic atmosphere of the office. Working for MCCE is a fantastic opportunity to become involved with a historic movement and join a welcoming team and I feel very fortunate to have stumbled upon this opportunity.