In September 2018, the JCCP launched the Student Political Engagement Fund to support students to do political campaign work over Fall Break. Grantees were given up to $500 to do work locally, in their home communities, or beyond. Read other reflections here, and visit the JCCP website to learn more about our other programs.
Austin Pope ’19
Major(s): College of East Asian Studies
Hometown: Simsbury, Connecticut
Location of Political Action: Cromwell, Connecticut
Campaign: Laurel Steinhauser for State Rep
My goal for break was to become more comfortable talking to voters and to become a more effective door knocker, as it is something that just comes with time and the best way to get better is to go out and do it. It made it easier because I was canvassing for such great candidates (Laurel and Matt Lesser – running for state senate), so finding more candidates like them in the future is another thing I am taking away from the experience, as it is much easier to get motivated to work hard for great candidates!
My advice to someone who wants to get involved politically is just to find a local race that you think is interesting (i.e. good candidate, important race, important issue) and show up to help out. Local campaigns need all the help they can get, and your work will be greatly appreciated. Then, just keep showing up to help out, and when you do, you get the opportunity to work on more and more important parts of the campaign.