My name is Reid Buskirk and I currently serve as an intern in FairVote’s communications department. I am a first year student at the University of Maryland - College Park, majoring in Government & Politics as well as English & Rhetorical Analysis.
My interest in politics began as a middle school student in my hometown of Frostburg, Maryland. In the 7th grade I was elected class president, which started my years-long association with student government, ultimately leading to my becoming president of the Allegany County Association of Student Councils during my senior year of high school.
My family is conservative and as a result, I too held conservative views. I grew up during the Barack Obama presidency, and my father was often critical of his policy decisions. While I always listened to his point of view, I also made it a point to gather information on my own as I learned more about the important issues facing our country and what I thought about them. I began to read publications like the Washington Post and the New York Times in my spare time. In high school during my freshman year, my government teacher was incredibly helpful in guiding me on this development. He never told me his views and encouraged me to find my own opinions.
Something that really struck me the more I learned was the prevalence as well as the destructive effects of gerrymandering. This however, is a government handled process, and I am a strong believer in people and the power each individual has in their own lives. This led me to electoral reform and specifically voter rights, as these areas seemed to be where those who have the passion and work ethic to create change have the most lasting success. As my favorite quote goes, written by President Obama on his last day in office, “I'm asking you to believe—not in my ability to create change, but in yours.”
I found FairVote through an on-campus voter rights organization called Democracy Matters. I had been looking for an internship to fulfill a major requirement. It seemed a perfect fit. It combines everything I am passionate about with the ability to create the change I want to see in the world. My mother, father, and grandfather all taught me constantly as a child: working to help others will never be a waste, so most importantly, working at FairVote allows me to work for the benefit of others so that they may live better lives through my work.
In the future, I’d like to continue onto law school, with the possibility of working for other political organizations such as the ACLU, National Lawyers Guild, or the Anti-Defamation League. I’ve also considered being in the foreign service, to help others outside the area where I currently live.
I love nature in all forms, which is no doubt a product of growing up in the Appalachian Mountains. Any free time I have, I like to be out in the woods, hiking, skiing, or biking. I also write, sing in an acapella group, and am teaching myself piano.