Student activists get involved in campaigns

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It may be hard to imagine, but it has been nearly four years since President Trump was elected. That means that next year, we as a country will vote for our next president (unless Trump is reelected). Anticipating that vote, candidates have begun campaigning in the hopes of gaining traction heading into the first caucuses and primaries.

Since candidates can’t be everywhere at once, their campaigns typically employ volunteers. These individuals make up the backbone of a candidate’s attempts to garner more traction by doing different things such as door knocking or phone calls. Many students may have seen the volunteers buzzing around town. Among them are some familiar faces.

Avery Fair, Nick Nachtman and Luke Simcox,’20, have all been actively campaigning for their respective candidates. Fair has been working for the Kamala Harris campaign, Nachtman for Elizabeth Warren and Simcox for Beto O’Rourke.

 

“I’m campaigning for Harris because she is the only candidate that has a plan to help victims of sexual assault, an issue that is very important to me,” explained Fair. A similar issue that Fair also highlighted was the backlog of rape kits. “Harris has a plan to end the backlog of rape kits, and as attorney general of California, she did just that. So I know she has a plan that works.”

Nachtman, meanwhile, points to Warren’s progressive policies as the reason for his campaigning for her.

“Warren has very strong progressive policies on issues such as corruption and human rights. I initially discovered her last spring when I was doing research on all the candidates, and I found that I agree a lot with what she says,” said Nachtman. 

As for Simcox, there were multiple issues that O’Rourke is focusing on that he highlighted.

“I like his ideas on fixing the divides that exist within our country. I also like his position on gun reform, his immigration plan, among other solutions that will help America,” he said. “I first knew who he was after he ran for Senate last year, and one of his strategies was going to every community and talking to everyone he could. This made me realize that he was serious about helping the people and the country.”

Both Fair and Simcox have been with their campaigns since September, with Nachtman campaigning since June. In their time campaigning, all three have worked roughly similar jobs. The three all do phone banking, which involves  calling prospective voters to talk about their candidate and gauging how much interest there is. All three also canvass, where they are given a list of names and addresses to visit and subsequently knock on their door. This again is to help raise awareness of their candidates and also gauge interests.

In Fair’s case, she does a bit more. Her official title is “High School Kamala Captain,” meaning she does a lot of stuff in high school, including recruitment and talking about caucusing and voting. Later in the political season, she will also help run a precinct with someone else. It may be a lot of work, but Fair doesn’t seem fazed by it.

“I realize that if I want to see change, I have to help make it happen, to get involved to see that change happens,” said Fair. This is a sentiment shared by all three, as they all believe that getting involved in politics at an early age is something important.Not only that, but by helping their campaigns, they are helping other people their age discover the voices of candidates they may agree with. 

If any student would like to campaign for one of the above-mentioned candidates, they are encouraged to talk to Fair, Nachtman or Simcox.

The first caucus will be the Iowa caucus held on Feb. 3, 2020.

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