Reporting From Sacramento

What an incredible month I have experienced here at the State Capitol! Senator Vidak’s staff is absolutely amazing. With so many offices at the Capitol to choose from it was overwhelming trying to decide where I would best fit. Coming and interning for Senator Vidak was the greatest decision; after just four weeks my office feels like home. The Vidak Staff took me under their wing and helped make my transition into their office a smooth one. Having only been here a few weeks I have learned so much from the staff; my questions are always answered and they are constantly reaching out to show and teach me new things.

Working for my own state representative is great; I know the district and I can easily relate to the struggles of Senator Vidak’s constituents. It’s amazing to witness firsthand the introduction of legislation that will affect my hometown. On June 30th Senator Vidak introduced a special session measure that requires a re-vote on High Speed Rail. High Speed Rail broke ground in Senate District 14 and is affecting farmers throughout the Central Valley. HSR is estimated to cost $100 billion dollars and it has failed to obtain funds from private investors, which were promised to voters. With billions of dollars going to a project that may or may not ever materialize Senator Vidak wants voters to have the opportunity to decide if HSR should continue to be funded by tax payer dollars. It’s reassuring to me knowing that my elected representative is listening to his constituents and working to make sure the state government is on track with California voters. It’s easy to blame the government when things aren’t going the way they were intended. Senator Vidak is eliminating this blame by presenting Californians an opportunity to re-vote and show both legislators and the Governor whether High Speed Rail is still a supported issue.

It will be tough leaving the Capitol in a couple weeks. I have so greatly enjoyed the Vidak Staff - from staff lunches and receptions to the laughs that occur on a daily basis in the office, this summer has been an absolutely incredible experience. I made memories that I will cherish for many years.

Paige McConnaughy is a UC Berkeley sophomore studying political science. She is interning in the office of Senator Vidak as a Cal-in-Sacramento Fellow.