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 May 8, 2018, is Sead (Sejko) Muradbegovic. Sejko is 21 years old, and came to the United States in August 2000 as a Bosnian-Slovakian refugee during the aftermath of the conflicts in the Balkans. He grew up in Twin Falls, Idaho and began attending the College of Idaho in 2015, where he is studying International Political Economy along with minors in Pre-Law, Spanish, Business, and Natural Sciences. In addition, Sejko is the President of the College of Idaho Young Democrats. During his undergraduate years, Sejko has been a part of state and local political campaigns. Most recently, he has made the decision to run for office as the Democratic State Legislative candidate for Idaho’s 10th district.
Question 1: What made you want to get involved in politics? What was your first political experience like?
Sejko: As a refugee, politics has affected me for my entire life. Growing up, current events were the only things my family watched, and all our dinner conversations found themselves focused on one topic: what is happening in the world? Therefore, I found myself involved in politics from an early age—by polishing myself to be a well-informed citizen. Today, politics affects many other demographics: women, students, refugees and immigrants—I find it imperative to ensure the same quality of life to them that I was fortunate enough to have.
I became more involved with the political climate when I came to college. My first “political experience” was attending the 2016 Twin Falls county Democratic Caucus with my father where we both demonstrated proud enthusiasm for then-candidate Bernie Sanders. With the structure of a caucus, the experience was exciting, and it was fascinating to hear the narratives of candidates running then.
Question 2: What is one thing you were surprised to learn when you first got involved?
Sejko: I was surprised to learn about the number of progressives within the Democratic Party. From the surface it appeared as a moderate political platform, but once I began meeting people within the party I discovered that many are adopting a progressive agenda. It was not something I expected in Idaho, and plenty of young people—myself included—are pleased to see this progressive shift occurring.
Question 3: Who is/was your greatest political inspiration? Why?
Sejko: 2016 Democratic Candidate for President/Vermont Senator—Bernie Sanders. Sanders challenged the status-quo of the American political climate, and he introduced issues that mattered to most Americans—a proud champion of democracy.
Brazilian Diplomat—Sergio Vieira de Mello. Vieira de Mello was a remarkable diplomat who demonstrated an unmatched ability to reconcile pragmatism with idealism in the international community. His work in both Kosovo and Timor-Leste are inspiring.
Question 4: What words of wisdom would you give to other young people?
Sejko: Change always begins from the bottom-up. Your participation, and more importantly your vote matter most on the local/state levels. There is considerable power to be found concentrated in the hands of young people, and they must exercise it.
Question 5: What issues are you most passionate about?
Sejko: Single-Payer, Universal Healthcare; Support for Women’s Reproductive Rights; Tuition-free Public College; Providing Living Wages for all Workers; Universal Basic Income; Comprehensive Path to Citizenship for Immigrants and Refugees.
Question 6: What would you like to see happen in Idaho politics this year?
Sejko: To see a blue wave overcome Idaho with the election of Democratic candidates who hold the interest of all Idahoans in mind—in particular, the election of Democratic gubernatorial candidate Paulette Jordan. This would also mean people casting aside partisanship and voting for the issues in their interest.
Any other comments you’d like to make.
Sejko: For those who are encouraged to see change and want to follow my campaign, my campaign page: https://muradbegovicsead.wixsite.com/changeforidaho
I’d also like to thank both Chelsea Gaona Lincoln and Evangeline Beechler for being exceptional role models, their continued support and help for my campaign, and their restless enthusiasm for bringing Idaho back to all Idahoans.
My closing comment: Change will happen if people go vote
That’s it for this week’s edition of Young Dem of the Week! 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.