Paula Villescaz

BY Conor Kenny

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Profession: High school senior
Party Positions and Activism: California Democratic Party Convention delegate, Sacramento County Democratic Central committeeperson, California Young Democrats organizer
Blogs at: DailyKos, Calitics

Villescaz’s first serious foray into Democratic politics occurred last summer when she attended the state party convention as a volunteer and saw a speech by Charlie Brown, a netroots-supported Congressional candidate challenging an entrenched Republican incumbent in Northern California. She immediately signed up as a campaign volunteer.

“All these people were telling me I shouldn’t waste my time because he was a such longshot,” Villescaz says, “but he was an engaging speaker and really inspired me.”

After showing a flair for managing the campaign’s financial data, she was hired as a finance assistant, working out of Brown’s house alongside the rest of the shoestring campaign staff. When school started in the fall she decided to stick around.

“I arranged my schedule so I could get off early in the afternoons and headed over to Charlie’s house to crunch spreadsheets until they basically kicked me out and told me to go home.”

Villescaz started posting on Calitics and DailyKos about the campaign and rallied netroots activists online to get Brown voted in as one of the “DfA All-Stars,” which would allow him to raise money nationwide from DfA members.

After Brown narrowly lost, she ran this January for a seat on her local county party committee, earning the privilege to attend this year’s convention as an official delegate. Villescaz, who is 18 years old, hasn’t figured out where she’s going to college, but she intends to work for another campaign in 2008 and is attending a session of the traveling DfA Training Academy on how to run campaigns.

Conor Kenny is the editor of Congresspedia.org, a collaborative online citizen's encyclopedia on Congress. He is also a former money in politics investigative researcher for Public Citizen.

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