Gen X: Get Involved in the Process


Jessie Haller and I (Annalise)

Most high school students think they do not have much of a voice, just an image of one. Since most teenagers are not of age to vote, we feel as we have no say in election opinions and coverage. Instead of sitting around arguing with other high schoolers about who is going to win, actually do something.

No more sitting around and not doing anything to support what you believe. No more complaining about the candidates or their views. Put in the effort and do your best to help with the campaigns to get the result that is best fit.

This year’s election has been one of the craziest in history. I felt so passionately about the election I decided to get involved. Although, I can’t vote my friend, Jessie and I reached out to people.

Jessie and I were already participating in the Social Justice club, and one day one of the leaders Quinn Volpe mentioned getting involved in local politics. Jessie and I were both immediately interested in this opportunity. 

Quinn gave us Tim Cauley’s (Emily’s campaign manager) number to text and mention we were interested and a few days later we were a part of the Youth Team. The youth team was for people who are interested in helping candidates running for state positions. In this case, we were helping Emily Skopov’s campaign.

Emily Skopov ran for state representative. Emily is a very hard-working, passionate woman. I look up to her, and every day I had hoped to meet her. One day, I finally got the chance to meet her and she was as I expected and more. She was so positive, approachable, and pushed everyone to do better.

After I learned more about her and her policies and met the welcoming member of the youth team, Jessie and I went canvassing. Canvassing is when you go door to door and ask people who they are voting for, if they know who the candidates are, sharing policies of each candidate, etc. 

Jessie and I woke up early Saturday morning to canvas. We went to our little office to pick up our canvassing folders. Sunvy, one of the Youth Team leaders gave us a folder with a map, Emily Skopov door hangers, and information about each house. We also had to download an app called Mini van where we had a script of what questions to ask and a form to fill out.

When canvassing it is very nerve-racking at first. Jessie and I had no idea what it would be like, how long it would take, or what kind of people we were going to come across. 

We went to over 45 houses in 1 hour and a half. We talked to many friendly people that were encouraging whether they agreed or not. On the other hand, we met some ruthless people who slammed their door in our faces without showing any mercy. 

On the upcoming Thursday, Jessie and I went to the office along with other members of the youth team to package up poll bags. Poll bags are what the volunteers at the poll need. Inside the bag, there are gloves, an Emily Skopov mask, an Emily Skopov shirt, Joe Biden and Emily Skopov’s literature, a pen, and hand sanitizer.

We were there for hours packaging pool bags and rubber banding campaign signs in the cold weather. At this point, we had little less than a week left until the election. 

The next day, Friday, a group of 15 of us went back to the office to gather signs, make sure all the poll bags were finished and helped sort everything. This would be one of our last times coming into the office to get everything ready for the election. Emily Skopov came by the office to thank us for everything we are doing and rewarded us with Chipotle.

On Wednesday was the election day. Jessie and I woke up early to get our poll bags and we were on our way to our location. We stood outside greeting all of the people coming to vote for almost two hours. We had some funny conversations with some, held the door for those who could not do it themselves, telling people when to enter the building, and helped make sure everyone was doing what they were supposed to be doing.

Although it was cold and hard work at times, I enjoyed every second of it. It was so fun to feel included and doing something for the community and nation. I felt like a part of their own little family even though I joined late.

Everyone was so welcoming and inclusive and made it so much more enjoyable. When someone was stressed, there was always someone waiting to comfort and make them laugh. This was such a positive experience for me and I want to do this for the rest of my life.

I recommend getting involved if you want to help, have nothing to do, are passionate about politics, or just want a little family. I am so thankful that I had this opportunity at such a young age. To all the people that say you want a change but don’t do anything, I encourage you to try joining.