I was born on a temperate Monday in May of 1998 to Paul and Teresa Davis at Mercy Hospital here in Dubuque. I could always tell that there was something different about me growing up. It was around the time I started 6th grade at Thomas Jefferson Middle School that I began to realize what kind of different I was. At first, I thought it was maybe because I watched Glee or listened to Lady Gaga. I tried to suppress any of the feelings I had and hide away from my true self. But after a while, I learned to love my uniqueness. I also learned that I could persevere through any of the hate that was thrown my way because of it.
It was at this same time that I began doing theatre. Theatre was such a warm and accepting place where everyone was welcome no matter what. As I started at Stephen Hempstead High School, I continued to do theatre. It was here that I began forming some of the deepest personal connections in my life and learned to have deep compassion for others.
And then 2016 changed everything for me. I started school at the University of Iowa and my whole world turned around. A new and frankly terrifying environment where I didn’t know anybody. But quickly, I made amazing new friends, started getting involved on campus, and was able to find my bearings and embrace this change.
And then just like that, everything changed again. I woke up on November 8th, 2016 for what was bound to be a historic day. I left early for my ‘Introduction to Political Communication’ class in order to vote beforehand. Some of my fondest memories as a kid are when I went with my mom to vote in presidential elections before school and I was so excited to finally get to vote for the first time. Later that night I went to a watch party on campus with some friends. When we arrived everyone was so excited, as we assumed we were all about to elect the first female president to office. However, when we saw the direction the results were headed the entire mood changed. Everyone I knew suddenly felt like their entire humanity was flashing before their eyes.
Over the next couple of weeks, as whispers of collusion began to air out, I became… inspired. The perseverance I had learned what felt like a decade before came rushing back. There was once again a new bully to take on. It was then that I realized that no matter how cliche it sounds, you have to be the change you want to see in the world. I began doing work to engage young voters using social media and this past September founded a new organization, New Suffragists. I started New Suffragists to fight voter suppression and continue to try and engage young voters to fight for equal representation in the electorate.
And that’s why I’m running. Americans between the ages of 18-30 make up the largest percentage of voters but have the least representation in the government. It’s time for young people to finally have a place in our government. We need to have fresh perspectives in our leadership to get this country back on track. So I hope you’ll join me, as we fight for a progressive tomorrow and move Iowa forward.