My parents chose to raise my sister and I with no specific followings or beliefs but instead allowed us to develop our own. One way they did this was by always starting the day reading news headlines to me as I ate breakfast before school. This was not done with any bias or personal opinion added, but just enough information so that I would develop an awareness of the world outside of my own little life and ask questions — and that I did. I have always questioned the status quo, but for a long time, I never had a specific group to connect these innate values with. It wasn’t until the 2008 presidential elections that I learned more about political parties and the importance of voting and begun to define myself as a Democrat. As a double major in Human Services & Social Justice and International Affairs, my long-standing beliefs and values have intersected with international politics, equal justice, and human rights as a whole. My time at GW, both in class and in the D.C. community, has only furthered my awareness of injustice and the need to act on my civic duty.
I’m voting because these equal rights that I have always valued are being threatened and destroyed. I’m voting because all people should be respected and treated as just that — people. The determination of the worth and rights of people should not be based on political beliefs, and discriminating hatred should not be disguised as differing political ideologies. Human rights should not be a partisan issue. Equal access to healthcare should not be a partisan issue. Gender equality, racial equality, and mitigating climate change should not be partisan issues. But, unfortunately, they are. And as these issues become more polarized under the current administration and Republican House, the Democratic party is the only party that is working to combat these issues wholeheartedly. That is why I am voting Democrat in the 2018 midterm elections.
Jessica Butehorn is sophomore from Tampa, FL, double majoring in Human Services & Social Justice and International Affairs with a concentration in International Development. She is the Event Coordinator for the GW College Democrats FemDems Committee. Additionally, she is the Diversity & Inclusion Chair and Philanthropy Chair of Sigma Kappa, an author for the GW Justice Journal, an active Model United Nations delegate, and a member of Alt-Break Los Angeles. Jessica hopes that this election will result in a greater turnout of young voters, specifically students.