Last year, I stood in front of a room full of people and told them about the many problems facing our democracy. This was the culmination of two years of work on my keystone project, a requirement for my honors program at the University of Maryland, and, notably, where I first came across FairVote. Able to do any project of my choosing, I embarked on the task of pointing out where the U.S. electoral system falls short of our democratic ideals and offering improvements. I didn’t want this work to end when I completed my project, and am thrilled that I can work directly on improving U.S. election methods with FairVote this summer.
My interest in U.S. democracy began in high school, where I developed great pride in the people of the United States, who, throughout history, have overcome the odds to make the country better. But at the same time I developed great frustration for many systemic problems in our country. Moving on the University of Maryland, I chose to study government and politics, with a minor in international development and conflict management, and another in sustainability. Both in and out of the classroom, I met many people that reaffirmed my faith in individuals’ ability to make the country better, while becoming increasingly disenchanted with the faulty electoral methods that inhibit their efforts. It is my firm belief that without an electoral system that allows for better representation, Americans will often be disengaged and divided, and many of the big issues facing the country will be seen as sources of contention, not opportunities for improvement. I suppose this is ultimately why I came to FairVote.
Prior to coming to FairVote, I had the pleasure of interning with Soccer Without Borders Baltimore, a nonprofit that provides programming for refugee and immigrant youth; Maryland Legal Aid, which provides free representation to low-income individuals in civil cases; Judge Nance of the Baltimore City Circuit Court; and a failed, yet interesting campaign for Maryland governor. Each of these experiences exposed me to great people and great problems in Maryland and the United States. This summer at FairVote, I am excited to be with a new set of people who are working to solve one of the most significant problems in the country.
When not trying to save democracy, I am likely working backstage at the performing arts center at the University of Maryland, where I also study government and politics as an undergrad. You can also find me coding cases for the International Crisis Behavior project at the National Consortium for Studying Terrorism and Responses to Terrorism (START) or at home in greatest city in America (Baltimore), where I enjoy playing with my dogs, adventuring around the city, trying to teach my grandmother how to use her phone, convincing my out-of-state friends that Old Bay really can go on everything, or obsessively following the goings-on of Baltimore’s government.