Working at FairVote is an amazing opportunity for me for a number of reasons. With a career in political advocacy as my ultimate goal, I’m thrilled to be gaining real world experience advancing electoral reform. This is especially true because enhancing our democracy is something I’m truly passionate about and is key to moving forward in other crucial policy areas. Anyone who knows me knows I’m a political junkie, so the chance to be working in Washington, D.C. was another factor that made FairVote a huge draw.
In focusing my fellowship with the outreach and advocacy team, I hope to gain valuable experience in organizing and activism. Having worked on political campaigns in the past, I’m excited to build on those skills at FairVote. I hope to advocate for electoral reform not just among elected officials and stakeholder organizations, but with everyday Americans too. Advancing any policy requires connecting with people across the political spectrum, making FairVote’s nonpartisan character an asset as I work to develop my communications skills.
Not only will the work I do for FairVote matter, but the work FairVote does for democracy matters. It’s fundamental to our democracy that everyone is represented and engaged in the political arena. The disconnect we see today between average Americans and their political leaders traces back to our unfair winner-take-all electoral system. This system reinforces the gridlock and polarization that has kept us from making progress on a host of issues. With my background in policy analysis, I’m keenly aware of the need for both an engaged public and results oriented leaders to move things forward.
Finally, I feel so fortunate to be doing this work in Washington. Though our electoral system may be broken, D.C. remains the center of politics and policy. Being surrounded by the intelligent and hardworking people that come here to work on big ideas and make a difference is an opportunity for growth in and of itself.
Ethan Fitzgerald is a 2015 Advocacy Fellow 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/