Democratic politicians and activists have successfully fought for an increased minimum wage in the Commonwealth to ensure that workers are paid fairly. And yet the work done by interns and fellows for Democratic campaigns and other like organizations often goes unpaid, even while contributing great value.
In line with our Democratic values, we do not promote unpaid internships and fellowships. Unpaid internships and fellowships are a barrier to opportunity for many young people. They ask young people to forgo paid work, and often work additional hours at a paid job, take out more loans, or rely on scholarship programs to afford basic necessities.
Campaigns and elected officials have long asked interns and fellows to work without pay, with the promise of experience and future opportunities. This practice perpetuates racial and socio-economic disparities in the body of staffers and elected officials in the Commonwealth.
Nothing in this policy should be taken to mean that we will not share true volunteer activities such as canvasses, phone banks, and community events. However, any opportunity that does not pay a wage for required and regular work will not be shared by the Young Democrats of Massachusetts. This policy is in no way directed at any one individual or organization, and the problem we are highlighting is so pervasive that it could not be so directed.
If you value our work, you can pay us.