Moore Ascends Political Ladder

Lindsay Wilson, Lifestyle Editor

While most seniors are stressing over their college applications, embellishing their resumes and painstakingly editing their Common App essays, Mikaela Moore must juggle that with running for a statewide position in Youth and Government. Hoping to win the secondary election for Speaker of Assembly in the upcoming month, Moore will continue campaigning for the next couple of weeks.

Two years ago, Moore wandered through the quad on Club Day, sampling the wares, looking for an opportunity that would improve her college application. Moore stopped at the Youth and Government table and decided to sign up. “I went to my first meeting, and fell in love with it. The rest is history,” she explained.

Generally, Moore spends about 2 hours at the weekly meeting, arriving half an hour early, participating for an hour, and then staying for half an hour afterwards. She also works on Youth and Government material outside meetings, writing bills for approximately 2 hours.

During campaign season, Moore spends about 16 hours on lobbying each week. Last week, she spent 7 hours on making posters, 4 working on speeches, 3 networking to set up delegation visits, and 2 on the actual visits.

Moore chose to participate in the election because of her experience at a nationwide Youth and Government congress.

“I decided that I wanted to run because I’ve been in Youth and Government for several years and was selected to go to the Congress on National Affairs. I went, and I realized that I had a lot to offer in terms of leadership because I have had experience with chairing committees, debating, and writing bills. Those things have made me really critically analyze what it takes and what it means to have a fun, efficient, and well-run session,” she said.

Moore believes that her years spent with Youth and Government have prepared her for the position. “I wouldn’t be running unless I knew that I could do a good job.”

According to Moore, Speaker of the Assembly is based on the role of Speaker of the House in California’s House of Representatives. If she wins the position, she will preside over 400 delegates in the Youth and Government Assembly program. Speaker of the Assembly is the third most powerful position in the organization; Speaker of Assembly is of the same stature as Lieutenant Governor.

In the race, Moore will compete with other delegates from throughout the state.

As part of her campaigning, Moore goes on visits to other delegations, makes videos, and attends cluster meetings. While at meetings, she gives a speech and participates in a question and answer session. Moore has visited delegations in Danville, Albany, Silicon Valley, Culver Palms, and El Dorado, and sent a video to one in Culver Palms. Last weekend, she gave a speech at the Camp Roberts Conference in Paso Robles. “I spoke in front of 3,000 people and was one of the 2 finalists that won the primary for the Speaker of the Assembly race,” Moore said.

Moore feels that she stands a good chance in winning the election: “I did well with small delegations which is good.”

Moore enjoys Youth and Government for many reasons, including the atmosphere. “The atmosphere when you get to the conference you’re going to is really special,” she said.

She also appreciates the feeling of camaraderie between delegates. Last weekend at Camp Roberts, she was struck by the sense of conviviality amongst candidates competing against one another for the Speaker of Assembly position. Most would expect a tense atmosphere, but, according to Moore, this was not the case. “When we were waiting to give our speeches backstage, we were all really nervous about speaking in front of thousands of people, but there wasn’t any animosity. There is a feeling of community amongst supposed enemies, which I really liked,” she said.

Although Moore enjoys participating in politics, she does not plan on majoring in political science, government, or law in college, although she is considering entering the field of politics. “I think I want to go into medicine and then go into politics,” she explained.  She believes that Youth and Government has really opened her eyes to politics and is considering a national government position in the future. “I think that Youth and Government has broadened my horizon. One day, I might want to run for a Senate seat,” Moore said.