The House, Senate and Legislative Council Service have all hired temporary help in the form of clerks, analysts and general assistants to keep the Roundhouse spinning during its current 60-day session. Such jobs attract youth, retirees and people of every age in between.
Consider Jacob Trujillo, who has worked during legislative sessions for four years. This, however, is his first session as a House liaison. Trujillo is a musician who plays at local venues, such as Second Street Brewery, but every year he comes back to the Roundhouse to help with the legislative process.
“I have always had a good time,” he said.
It’s blistering in the small office Trujillo works in, but he seemed unaffected Thursday morning. He did say a quick lap around the Roundhouse usually cools him down. Work was slow, he said, because everyone was still getting settled. But once House bills start moving, he will spend most of his time working with a spreadsheet on his computer, and taking periodic laps to cool down.
As an analyst for the minority Republican party, Melchior Savarese IV said he’ll read bills and provide summaries and critical interpretations for his representatives, which is all the more impressive given he hasn’t finished high school yet. At 18, Savarese may be one of the youngest part-time workers in the Roundhouse, and he’s definitely one of the most enthusiastic.
“I really love politics,” he said. “I am happy about it, and it’s a blessing from God.”
Savarese said his father, a lawyer, and his mother, who home-schooled him, were both responsible for his interest in the political system. It’s Savarese’s first year as an analyst, though it his second year working the legislative session.
Previously, he worked as a legislative assistant, which involved running around the Roundhouse to do whatever his higher-ups required of him. Because he worked so hard in that job, he was able to move up to the current analyst position, he said.
Fellow analyst Kathleen Magee said she remembers working with Savarese last year, and she’s excited to work with him this year because of his professionalism and youthful energy.
As for a future in politics, Savarese is a little unsure. He said he is interested in being a lawyer or maybe an ambassador. But he also has to choose a college before pursuing any career, a choice he’s still wavering on — though Notre Dame, Claremont and Emory are at the top of his list.
Andrew Prestridge said he opted to work during the legislative session because he wanted to see what the politicians do when elected. The 26-year-old previously worked in Washington, D.C., and most recently served as the campaign manager for Stephen Easley, a Democrat who won the District 50 House seat.
“I am just excited to be here and part of the action,” said Prestridge, who enjoys politics and often sits in the galleries to watch the process.
Prestridge hails from Louisiana and graduated from Louisiana State University in 2010. He said that he came here from Washington, D.C., because he had some connections who could provide him with work in New Mexico.
During the legislative session, he said, he’s serving as general help for the House, though he hadn’t received his official assignment yet. This is Prestridge’s first time working on the other side of politics, and he’s working to shut off the campaigning part of his brain.
In the future, he would like to start a political consulting firm, he said, adding that he would go wherever work took him. “I don’t mind moving around,” he said.
Jane Clifford is also working at the Legislature for the first time this session, though she already had a full work history. The recent retiree worked for Public Employees Retirement Association as an executive assistant. She will work as a clerk for two representatives in the House, though she also hadn’t been assigned yet.
Clifford said the biggest challenges so far have been getting from one place to another and the waiting.
“I have had days of training,” she said last week. “I am just anxious to get started.”
Contact Chris Quintana at 986-3093 or email@example.com.