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CAPE Legislative Bootcamp

Become a CAPE Legislative Fellow!

The CAPE Legislative Bootcamp is an annual week-long capacity-building program in Sacramento following the end of the Spring semester.

During the Spring semester leading up to the bootcamp, legislative fellows will have the opportunity to work as a research assistant under a political science faculty member and, following completion of the bootcamp, legislative fellows will be eligible for summer-long internships under elected officials or other political professionals.


CAPE Pre-Bootcamp Research Assistantship

CAPE Research Asisstantships are designed to give students applied experience with data and analytics related to politics and policy.

During the spring semester, legislative fellows are assigned to work with a political science faculty member to code, organize, and analyze data on projects that are part of the faculty member's research agenda. By the end of the RAship, students should have a basic understanding of how data is collected, how it is managed, and what tools are used for analysis.

The Legislative Bootcamp

The CAPE Legislative Bootcamp is a week-long capacity-building program in Sacramento following the end of the Spring semester. The bootcamp aims to:

  • Provide intensive training by top legislative professionals on topics including drafting legislation, political communications, political bargaining, polling, campaign tactics, policy research, political networking, office conduct, and basic administration.​
  • Give an immersive experience to UC Merced students by staying in Sacramento, in and around the Capitol, sharing meals with invited guests, and doing exercises meant to promote skill development and professional growth.​

CAPE Legislative Internship

The CAPE Legislative Internship takes place after the Legislative Bootcamp and is designed to further the legislative fellows' professional career through a summer-long internship in a legislative, lobbyist, or other professional setting connected to the political arena.




What Do We Do At The Bootcamp?

The inaugural Legislative Bootcamp took place in May 2023. A sample of activities include:

Office Visits:

Political Solutions Lobbying Firm
Senate Democratic Caucus
California Medical Association


Research Tools and Techniques
District Office Roles and Responsibilities 
Politics and Policy
Lobbying and the Legislative Process

Special Events:

Reception Dinners with Special Guests
Sacramento River Cats Baseball Game


Previous Internship Placement Offices

Jasmeet Bains

35th District


Melissa Hurtado

16th District


Esmeralda Soria

27th District

Carlos Villapudua

13th District

Akilah Weber

79th District



2023 Legislative Fellows Cohort

From left to right:
Katelin Cortez, 3rd year, double major in political science and sociology
Ananya Veerapaneni, 3rd year, political science major with pre-med track
Haley James, 2023 alumna, political science major
Paul Patterson, 2023 alumnus, political science major
Jasmine Okincha, 3rd year, political science major
Jasmine Her, 2023 alumna, political science major
Jacqueline Ocegueda, 2023 alumna, political science major
Alexandra Rizo, 4th year, political science major
Lawson Lasch, 3rd year, quantitative economics major


Frequently Asked Questions

Do I Qualify For The Legislative Bootcamp?

Eligible students must have completed or are in the process of completing the POLI 109 Legislative Simulation course (previously POLI190).

When Is The Legislative Bootcamp?

The 2024 Legislative Bootcamp will take place
Monday-Friday, May 20th-24th, 2024.

How Do I Apply?

The link for the 2024 legislative bootcamp application has closed.

What Do I Need To Apply?

-You need to have completed POLI 109 (previously POLI190)
-Fill out all questions on the application
-Unofficial Transcript
-Role Profile from POLI 109

How much of a commitment is the Research Assistantship?

Legislative Fellows can expect to work 5-10 hours/week for roughly 10 weeks during the spring semester. The schedule and scope of tasks is determined between the student and the faculty member.

Do I Get Paid to be a Research Assistant?

Yes, this is a paid position through CAPE.