Posted by Rachel Swack on June 30, 2016
As a second year politics major with a double minor in history and gender, sexuality, and feminist studies at Oberlin College, I have a deep interest in the intersection of politics and the needs of marginalized people. This summer I get to work at FairVote as a Women’s Representation and Money in Politics intern for Representation2020.
I was particularly interested in the Representation 2020 project of FairVote because I believe that women should have equal opportunities to make decisions and lead. FairVote was ideal to me because it is an organization that challenges structural, institutional and social barriers to women in elected office. Many women lack the resources to choose their professions, gain economic mobility, and decide if and when to raise their families due to systematic barriers. I am fascinated by the ways that governments, as well as outside organizations can work to create new structures that enable all people to have a voice in their community. Our current political system has many short fallings, and I believe that the reforms that FairVote fights for such as ranked choice voting, abolition of gerrymandering, as well as other initiatives are important steps in making our government, and therefore our country more fairly representative.
My interest and involvement in the fight for equality also extends to my work as a Family Planning Coordinator for the Clinton Health Access Initiative and at my school. At Oberlin, I am a staffer at the Sexual Information Center, and a peer tester in the Oberlin HIV Peer Testing program. In addition, I am also a member of the group Students United for Reproductive Freedom (SURF) at Oberlin, in which I have worked on advocacy to lobby political representatives to pass legislation that supports gender equality, planned numerous fundraisers, and organized awareness campaigns on the status of women. I am also involved in political organizing work through the Oberlin College Democrats including participating in voter registration, getting out the vote, and working on policy education events.
FairVote is an organization that strives to uplift all people and focus on those political voices who are often marginalized. I sought out FairVote because I thought that it would be an incredible opportunity to learn from an organization that so closely lines up with with my values and what I seek to do. I want to make a career for myself in creating a government with policies that serve the needs of all people.
Rachel is the 2016 Representation2020 Intern at FairVote. Learn more about FairVote's Democracy Fellowships and Internship opportunities on our Employment page.