Dominiq Telfort is a recent graduate of Notre Dame and a 2015 Communications Intern at FairVote. Do you want to apply for a FairVote internship? Find more information here: http://www.fairvote.org/who-we-are/internships-and-employment/internships/
As a second generation West Indian American, I have always been the “other” but never realized it until I was exposed to the media and attended private schooling. I never really had any sufficient representation and it is this take on my experience which has made me interested in researching and advocating for social justice reform domestically and abroad. After learning about FairVote’s work analysis of African American males’ disenfranchisement in the United States, Trinidad and Tobago’s switch to a runoff voting system, gender parity initiatives with the Representation 2020 program as well as the Promote the Vote campaign to add a constitutional amendment for the right to vote I knew I wanted to work at FairVote. The thread that binds all of these initiatives and my interest in them is the focus on marginalized peoples.
In retrospect, my political leanings, studies in political science and theology, and creativity have often flowed into one another. For example, I base my political ideology on reasoned analysis offered by political science and a mixture of faith and reason from theology. Studying these disciplines has enhanced my ability to think critically about structural inequality and more importantly, how to change it. As a nonpartisan organization using creative research and advocacy to highlight innovative electoral reform, Fair Vote is a great post-graduate opportunity and springboard for more knowledge, creativity, and reform.
Why do I care about electoral reform? The issues addressed through FairVote’s electoral reform
initiatives are important to me on both a personal and broader theoretical level. In theory, states, while not eternal, can last longer if they adjust their practices to suit the changing socio-political environment. As a double minority, I am part of groups that are most affected by stagnation in policymaking by the majority and therefore, have to care. As a recent graduate of the University of Notre Dame, I look forward to interning at FairVote to meet new people and advocate knowledgeably about their platforms. I hope to gain more in-depth knowledge of how women’s representation, enfranchisement, and ranked choice voting can reform the electoral system and then how to communicate these ideas for true reform.