As the daughter of an Army colonel, I moved around quite a bit as a kid. However, most of my life has been spent in the beautiful state of Alabama. Politics aside, I love my homestate and the upbringing it has provided me for the last 11 years of my life. But in 2016, my life did a complete 360 due to the presidential election. I was ashamed that my county went red (but not surprised, of course) and that our entire state showed endless support for President-elect Trump. I refused to accept it—there was no way I could stand idly and watch as the country I held so close to my heart deteriorated at the hands of an authoritarian, destructive administration.
So, like many others, I became politically active for the first time in my life. I joined a local Democratic organization and founded my school’s High School Democrats of America chapter, and I discovered my passion for criminal justice reform and the effects mass incarceration has on the US and our minority populations. I also had the privilege to work for the Doug Jones for Senate campaign that led Alabama to elect a Democratic Senator for the first time in 25 years. To make a long story short, I am a Democrat because I believe not only Alabama, but our nation as a whole would continue to benefit greatly from the values we uphold as Democrats: equality, justice, compassion, and advocacy.
I am voting in the 2018 midterms elections because I believe the ball is truly in the youth’s court this November. As Democrats, we have the opportunity to win back the House during the Trump presidency, which, to me, sounds like a call to action. Now is the time to fight harder than ever, and it all starts at the polls.
Ella Rauer is a freshman from Huntsville, Alabama, majoring in political science and minoring in Russian Language and Literature. She is a member of the GW College Democrats Freshman Committee, GW Student Association’s Student Engagement Committee, Colonials Demand Action, and GW Balance.