This summer, as a Democracy Summer intern, I made friends I would have never met in my lifetime if I had not had this opportunity. Our desire to create a better government brought us together this summer, and for that, I will always remember the times we were able to convene, organize, and have fun along the way.
What surprised me this summer was meeting so many young people across the state who truly care about these issues. The 50th anniversary of the Voting Rights Act is coming up soon, and it’s amazing, not necessarily in the most positive way, that people still care for, and therefore are still fighting for, voting rights. I was surprised by the insidious ways that people can be denied their right to vote. For example, an elderly woman who attempted to get an ID from her local DMV was given misleading information about the ID law – a person working at the DMV told her that she wouldn’t be able to vote if she couldn’t get an ID in 2014. Another thing that surprised me was how quickly we had an effect with our organizing. About a week after we organized around the Voter ID Rule-making hearings in June, lawmakers passed a provision on HB589 that I never expected would happen!
The Moral March on Voting Rights was one of my most memorable experiences this summer. I’m so grateful for an internship that allowed me to participate in a historic march like the one on July 13th. In the future, I’ll take the skills I’ve learned this summer and continue this work. This was a unique experience that I wouldn’t have been able to have at any other organization.