How did I get into politics?
I was never super into politics as a kid. I didn’t really care about who the president was or who my senator was. It wasn’t until Illinois could not make a budget and shutdown.
This negatively affected by family because my dad is a state employee. If there is no budget employees do not get paid. I started paying more attention to politics and the policies that were going on around me. I also decided that I wanted to report on this.
Somehow I inadvertently picked a university that was at the heart of politics. Drake University in Des Moines, Iowa. Little did I know that caucuses were a thing and that they happened in Iowa. There was also the democratic primary debate that happened my very first semester.
I got super lucky with were I decided to go to school. There was so many political things that were happening on campus and around Des Moines all in my first year.
Almost every primary presidential candidate visited campus. Different actors that supported candidates were making the rounds.
One of the first political events I went to was the Jefferson dinner were the presidential democratic candidates were asked to speak. My friends and I somehow got tickets to go. We got to hear Bernie Sanders, Martin O’Malley, and Hillary Clinton talk about their platforms and what they were going to do as president.
It was fascinating to be around people that were also into politics. And I wanted to be more involved with all of it.
That November of my freshman year was the debate. Everyone was so excited. There were tv crews all over the place. There was a lottery to get tickets to actually go to the debate. I didn’t get one, sadly.
Instead, my friends and I got invited to go to this event on campus for the debate. In my friend’s FYS (first year seminar), her professor was the student activities director and he invited his students to this secret event. We were told we were going to watch the debate and then talk about it with other students.
We got all dressed up and when we got there we were told that Caitlyn Jenner was going to be coming to watch the debate and film for her tv show. In between commercials of the debate, we would talk about the debate.
That was one of the best nights ever. After the debate, Hillary Clinton was having a rally on campus. So we all ran over to watch. We then went
over to Old Main were the debate was and snuck in to see the podiums.
To say the least, I was hooked.