Each week, we nominate a Young Dem in Idaho for our weekly spotlight. Our goal is to increase involvement and highlight the hard work of amazing Young Dems in our state. To nominate someone for Young Dem of the Week, please email us at email@example.com.
Our Young Dem of the Week for the week of April 24, 2018, is Guillermo de Jesus Velasco. Guillermo was born in Calvillo, Aguascalientes, in Mexico, and raised in Hailey Idaho. He is a proud DACA recipient. Guillermo, 22 years old, graduated with a bachelor’s degree in Political Science from Boise State in 2017. He is the Latino Outreach Director and Field Organizer for AJ Balukoff for Governor.
Question 1: What made you want to get involved in politics? What was your first political experience like?
Guillermo: My first political experience was volunteering during election night in 2016. I was helping box ballots because I felt like I needed to contribute more to the community. Unfortunately, things did not go the way I thought they would that night. The night 45 got elected was a huge eye opener for me because I realized my DACA status was now up in the air (it still is) and I needed to get out and get involved.
Question 2: What is one thing you were surprised to learn when you first got involved?
Guillermo: It really surprises me that people all over the state are so unaware and so uneducated about what is going on with DACA. People always ask me “Why don’t you just apply for a green card?” If it were that easy I would, but it does not work that way. Even though I have been here in the states since I was 5 years old I cannot apply for anything. Hopefully soon that changes!
Question 3: Who is/was your greatest political inspiration? Why?
Guillermo: My greatest political inspiration is Barack Obama. He made my life so much easier by signing off on the DACA executive order. Attending college would have not been possible if it were not for DACA. I would also not be working for such a great campaign if it were not for DACA. A lot of my accomplishments would have not been possible if it were not for DACA!
Question 4: What words of wisdom would you give to other young people?
Guillermo: Politics may seem boring, but they are not! Get involved, don’t let other people make decisions for you!
Question 5: What issues are you most passionate about?
Guillermo: I am passionate about immigration reform. It is scary knowing that loved ones can get detained and get sent back to Mexico at any moment. We need to fix the broken immigration system so hard-working families can continue to do what they have been doing for years, except legally.
Question 6: What would you like to see happen in Idaho politics this year?
Guillermo: I want to see candidates that will represent the Latino community get elected to public office all over the state. There are great candidates this midterm that are ready to make a change. I want to see AJ Balukoff become governor, because he truly cares about the beautiful state of Idaho and I know for a fact after closely working with him that he will represent and be a voice for the Latino community.
Any other comments?
Guillermo: A quick shout out to my parents, they are my biggest inspiration and I cannot thank them enough for all the risks they have taken to get me and my brothers to where we are today.
To nominate somebody for Young Dem of the Week, please email us at firstname.lastname@example.org and tell us why they should be Young Dem of the Week.