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 firstname.lastname@example.org.
Our Young Dem of the Week for the week of April 9, 2018, is Heather Colwell. Heather is 25 years old and was born and raised in Boise, Idaho. She recently graduated from the University of Idaho where she studied political science, sociology, and philosophy. Heather has been involved since her freshman year of college, where she interned with the Idaho Democratic Party. Since then, she have served several other internships, worked on many civic engagement efforts, and managed several successful campaigns. Heather is currently managing two legislative races in District 15 (Jake Ellis and Jim Bratnober).
Question 1: What made you want to get involved in politics? What was your first political experience like?
Heather: My interest in politics developed from a love of community service that evolved as I got older and specified how I personally wanted to serve my community. I fell in love with the role of government as a way for people to collectively solve social problems and promote their commonwealth of their state. My first political experience was serving as an intern with the Idaho Democratic Party in 2012, under the Executive Director at the time, Sally Boynton-Brown. It was an incredibly teaching and rewarding experience that cemented my decision to become involved and active in local politics.
Question 2: What is one thing you were surprised to learn when you first got involved?
Heather: The thing that surprised me most when I first got involved was how open and accessible local politics really was. The concept of politics is often portrayed as being far removed from the public and out of reach for people to engage with. However, this couldn’t be further from the case. I quickly found that if I showed up, put in work, and asked for roles to become more of a part in the political process, I was involved, supported, and accepted.
Question 3: Who is/was your greatest political inspiration? Why?
Heather: My greatest political inspiration are all of the passionate volunteers that make grassroots organizing possible. Working with motivated visionaries who give their time and energy to improve their community is deeply motivating and inspiring to me.
Question 4: What words of wisdom would you give to other young people?
Heather: My advice is to create the change you want to see in the world, to not listen to the pessimists and naysayers, and to always stand up for the values that you think are right. This may seem clique, but I am continually learning and relearning these lessons through my involvement. Things will only get better if we ensure that progress is created and implemented.
Question 5: What issues are you most passionate about?
Heather: I am deeply passionate about equality, equity, human rights, civil liberties, and civic engagement. There are a laundry list of issues that stem from these issues that I care about, but to keep it concise I will leave it at this.
Question 6: What would you like to see happen in Idaho politics this year?
Heather: I would like to see progressives come together and work collectively to see through the many candidates that are running this year. There are many great candidates running and a lot of possibility for change. I hope that progressives across the state ensure that these incredible candidates have an opportunity to serve Idaho.
To nominate somebody for Young Dem of the Week, please email us at email@example.com and tell us why they should be Young Dem of the Week.