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  • RANDY PENCH / rpench@sacbee.com

    Grayson Pangilinan, 16, is spending his summer as an intern in Gov. Jerry Brown's mailroom. His grandfather, Mark Lamb, also worked in the mailroom under Brown – 36 years ago, during Brown's first term. Pangilinan was intrigued by his grandfather's stories about Capitol personalities and decided to apply for the job.

  • RANDY PENCH / rpench@sacbee.com

    Mark Lamb, Grayson Pangilinan's grandfather, started his public service career in 1975 in the same job – and for the same governor.

Jerry Brown intern follows grandfather's lead

Published: Saturday, Aug. 6, 2011 - 12:00 am | Page 3A
Last Modified: Monday, Aug. 8, 2011 - 9:45 am

A 21-year-old who began his state government career in the governor's mailroom in 1975 might have daydreamed about a grandson someday starting in the same spot.

But for the same governor? Generally speaking, unfathomable.

Third-term Gov. Jerry Brown, who also held the post in 1975, last month officially became that grandson's boss.

Grayson Pangilinan, a 16-year-old from Folsom, is interning for Brown this summer. It was his grandfather, Mark Lamb, who helped route and reply to incoming mail during Brown's first term as governor.

At a back-corner cubicle with a small TV on his desk that he had tuned to C-SPAN one afternoon this week, Pangilinan handled incoming paperwork from people vying for gubernatorial appointments. Pangilinan said he hopes the job is the first of many that will fill an impressive résumé if he someday runs for president.

"I'm completely interested in the ideals this country was built on," he said. "I'd love to choose a career where I could work for those."

Lamb, on the other hand, never had ambitions for elected office. He remains in the governor's administration as a manager in the Department of General Services' procurement division.

Lamb found his "eye-opening" job at the Governor's Office during Brown's early days because of a friend who was already on staff.

"You see how that office influences so many people's lives," Lamb said. "The gravity and the reach of what goes on in that office is just enlightening."

Lamb was left in awe outside of the office, as well, when he saw Rose Bird at a dinner party. Brown had appointed her as chief justice of the California Supreme Court.

The governor's science and technology adviser at the time, astronaut Russell Schweickart, accepted an invitation to dinner at Lamb's house. Schweickart's daughter came back for several more nights as a baby sitter.

Pangilinan said he chatted with his grandfather about those memories on cross-country road trips. The chats inspired him to want to work for Brown.

"He's always been part of my family," Pangilinan said.

Brown even sponsored Pangilinan's mom as part of a school fundraiser when she was in elementary school.

Whether Pangilinan's internship leads to a star-studded summer remains to be seen. Perhaps Brown could at least offer some tips about running for president – he tried three times – to the teen, who is a senior at Folsom's Vista del Lago High School.

Pangilinan's political aspirations first entered overdrive when he watched then-Sen. Barack Obama stride into the boom of a roaring crowd at the 2008 Democratic National Convention.

"It kind of shaped what my high school career would be like," Pangilinan said.

That career includes joining his high school's speech and debate club and becoming the school's associated student body president. Pangilinan plans to major in political science in college.

Though he wants to intern for the Governor's Office again in future summers, his eyes remain on Washington, D.C. "I'm a man of great goals," he said.

© Copyright The Sacramento Bee. All rights reserved.

Read more articles by Paresh Dave



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