Halfway through the summer, I have begun to realize how much my story and perspective connects to my internship. Recently, I began to realize that campaigns are about more than a political process. They are also an opportunity for individuals and communities to have a voice.
I am a young man who came to this country in 2015, barely knowing how to speak English (only the essentials, like how to ask for food…). Still, I worked very hard for two years and got into Brandeis University and the Myra Kraft Transitional Year Program (MKTYP). MKTYP is a year-long program designed to prepare students to maximize their full college experiences. One class that directly related to my internship was Introduction to American Government with Professor Daniel Kryder. In this course, many topics were discussed, including the Constitution; democracy for realists; inequality, public policy and the American mind; parties and polarization in Congress; and most importantly voting and marching.
At the time, I did not realize how much these topics would continue to support my develop. As a Brandesian, I have observed the way our community highlights the importance of one’s your vote. Now, as a WOW fellowship recipients, through my internship I am beginning to observe how a campaign and its outcomes are driven by people’s vote. It is crucial that every individual exercise their right to vote because EVERY VOTE MATTERS. Beyond the outcomes, casting your vote demonstrates that you’re an active citizen and that you’re looking to change and better your community and lifestyle.
Powerful examples of the links between one’s vote with one’s voice have emerged following the school shooting in Florida. At Brandeis, community members marched outside of classrooms for seventeen minutes in memory to those seventeen students who were killed. They did so to state their discontent with gun violence and to give voice to important issues. At my internship, Representative Carvalho’s team marched in the Dorchester Day Parade and gave out pamphlets. These pamphlets explained how Representative Carvalho was the most qualified candidate to be in the district attorney’s office because as a former assistant district attorney and current state representative, he’s led the fight for criminal justice reform by working to eliminate mandatory minimums for non-violent offenses and raising the age of criminal responsibility. In this way, Representative Carvalho is giving voice to community members. By casting their vote they can give voice to important issues by having someone in service to represent them and to speak for others who seek change.
It’s crucial to show people how much you believe in your candidate, and to share their qualifications and purpose. I also find that it’s equally important to let people know that what happens next in our world is up to them. It’s up to them to decide who they want as the district attorney and whether they want someone working on the social justice issues mentioned above.
For more information on what State Representative Evandro Carvalho represents and is fighting for, please go to https://www.evandrocarvalho.com/