NAME: Allie Schembra
JOB TITLE: Press
Assistant to Secretary of State Bruce McPherson
Capitol Weekly: How did you work your way to this position at the Secretary
of State’s office?
Allie Schembra: I went to Sac State and graduated five years ago in history
and criminal justice. I did an internship with the Department of Corrections
in their communications department, and then I went on to work for the State
Archives office. I got recruited to work here during the 2002 gubernatorial
election and I have been here since.
CW: What’s the most difficult part of your job?
AS: We get yelled at by voters at times. Sometimes voters call to voice
their opinions and usually it ends up with them being very adamant about a
position and we can’t cut them off.
CW: How do you keep up with the volume of calls that the office receives?
AS: When it gets close to an election, usually the last three weeks or so,
we get a lot of calls about past elections, etc. We all pitch in with
answering the phones and we have a tracking system so we know who has called
and what they were calling about. It’s very organized. During the recall we
were getting probably 80 to100 calls per day. It was crazy to say the least.
CW: How do you spend your time away from the office?
AS: In my free time I spend a lot of time at Borders. I like to garden and I
like to play with my dog. I really love traveling and go wherever I can,
whenever I can.
CW: What has been your most interesting traveling experience?
AS: We took a seven day cruise last summer to Mexico. There were about 20 of
us- immediate family and friends of the family. It was such a blast. We all
had walkie-talkies so we could meet up because there were so many of us. It
was probably the most fun I have ever had.
CW: What advice would you offer to media calling your office?
AS: Know what you are looking for so that we can help you. Be as clear and
concise as possible so that if we have to do background research we can have
it ready for when we call you back. Usually we return calls in order of
CW: How has your experience working here changed you?
AS: I have learned so much since I have been here. Before I came over to the
communications office I could care less about politics. But since then, in
the three years, I have met some of my best friends who work in the Capitol
or for non-profits or are planning to run for office. I have gotten more
involved in different groups- I am a Board Member for the Sacramento Chapter
of the California Elected Women’s Association. I have also been appointed to
the Sacramento County Commission of History and Science. It’s a lot of fun
and very interesting. We kind of keep an eye on Old Sacramento, preserving
its history and also preserving historical venues throughout the county. So
now, finally, I am actually using my history degree.