“I’m part of the sixth generation of my family to live in Silicon Valley. When I say I’m from San Jose, people think that I come from massive wealth, and they couldn’t be more wrong. My family doesn’t work in tech or in an industry that makes a lot of money. I’ve seen the dot com boom in my lifetime and I’ve seen all of the people I grew up with not be able to afford to live where they grew up. I knew from a young age that it was going to be different for my generation.”
“Sometimes, I want to leave California, but other times I feel obligated to stay and help. The problems here have gotten out of hand. America was founded by people that wanted to farm and be free and live their life. That spirit still exists in California. There are a lot of people that just want to work, farm and have a good livelihood, but there’s too much regulation and legislation restricting that.”
“I decided to go to Sacramento State because I wanted to work in the California Capitol. It was difficult getting a job there – the hardest part about the job was getting the job. I applied for a whole bunch of internship programs and fellowships, but there aren’t enough offices, so there just wasn’t a spot for me.”
“But I was determined. I printed out my resume and went to every single legislator I wanted to work with at the state Capitol, and said, ‘I want to work here. I’ll work for free.’ I found an assembly member willing to let me intern for free for about a year, then was hired full-time as a scheduler/legislative aide. I ended up having that role in two different assembly offices.”
“I felt like a dog at a dog park when I was working in the Capitol building because everything that happened was so stimulating. I got to see where and how the sausage was made. The problem was, there wasn’t a lot of room for growth. I left after four years and with the skills I gained was able to find jobs in fundraising, political campaigns, regulatory legislative affairs and The California Fair Political Practices Commission. It was different being in an office so far removed from the Capitol, so separate from everything. It wasn’t the best fit for me, because I wanted to be in the action. I love being in the line of fire.”
“Now, I am shifting gears in my career because I think the most successful people in politics have something else under their belt. But I love politics and will go back to politics – I want to run for office someday.”
Lindsay Wright Mclaggan
Lindsay has worked in public policy for five years. She has filled a range of roles from administrative assistant, legislative aide, and public policy advocate.