Although Lodian Mikey Hothi has worked as Assemblyman Jim Cooper’s district director since 2014, his interest in politics began much earlier.
“I first ran for class treasurer in fifth grade,” Hothi said.
Despite losing by two votes, Hothi became vice president of his sixth grade class the following year, he said, and held several other student government offices including class president at Tokay High School.
After graduating from Tokay High in 2008, Hothi attended University of California, Los Angeles where he graduated with a degree in political science. He first met Cooper when the legislator was still a member of the Elk Grove City Council.
“I helped him get elected, and then he asked me to stay on as his district director,” Hothi said.
As district director, Hothi leads Cooper’s office in Elk Grove where he handles constituent outreach, informs the public and keeps Cooper informed about what goes on in the district.
“I just help to ensure that he’s able to effectively represent his 1⁄2 million constituents,” Hothi said.
Hothi also assists Cooper’s staff with various issues, organizes events, helps Cooper write speeches and most recently toured the 180 Teen Center at the Lodi Public Library where he learned about their issues and plans for expansion.
“I think it’s pretty neat to work for someone who represents my hometown,” Hothi said. “One of my proudest moments working with Assemblyman Cooper was working with him through the budget subcommittee he chairs to secure $1 million for Lodi Lake.”
Working as Cooper’s district director is not without its challenges, Hothi said, as he frequently works long hours including evenings and weekends.
“It’s also one of the most fulfilling parts of the job because I’m always out in the communities, helping out and working to create healthier, safer communities,” Hothi said.
Students interested in pursuing careers in politics should get started as soon as possible, Hothi said, and take advantage of internships and student government positions.
“I got my start through student government,” Hothi said. “I also interned for congressmembers and state assemblymembers.”
Cooper, for his part, was full of praise for his district director.
“I’ve always been impressed by Mikey,” Cooper said. “I hired him as my district director when he was just 24 years old and he was the youngest district director in the state. He leads my community outreach efforts to ensure that constituents in the 9th Assembly District are effectively represented.”