Commitment 2016: Simpson students campaign for candidates

by Madison Wilson, Staff Reporter

Political science majors Austin Jacobs, Olivia Anderson and Tristan Carman have a passion for politics.

With the Iowa caucuses just around the corner, these Simpson students said they are committed to supporting candidates, elected officials and policymakers.

Over the summer, Jacobs and Anderson took political action and worked on different campaigns in Iowa to support presidential candidates.

Jacobs spent most of his time on Republican U.S. Sen. Charles Grassley’s campaign working in an office alongside Anne Roth, Grassley’s finance director and the only paid staffer in the state.

“We did a bunch of fundraisers where I’d pick a city where we can go and basically figure out how much we could raise there and then invite people, make calls, attend the event, chauffeur the senator around,” said Jacobs. “We’d just attend a bunch of events with him.”

Jacobs dedicated his time and work to Grassley’s campaign because this could be Grassley’s last year to run for re-election.

“He’s been serving in the Senate for Iowa for over 30 years now and has not missed a vote since 1993. I just thought it’d be a real honor to work on Sen. Grassley’s campaign at least once,” Jacobs said.

Sophomore Olivia Anderson worked for the Hillary Clinton campaign as an organizing fellow.

She spent time making phone calls, marching in parades and engaging voters of Dallas, Warren and Madison counties.

“I was just one out of over 100 fellows from around the country who came to Iowa to advocate on behalf of Hillary Clinton,” said Anderson.

Anderson knew she wanted to work for the Hillary Clinton campaign when she made the decision to attend Simpson College. Since this was her first time working on a campaign, she gained a large amount of political experience and knowledge.

“I’ve learned unparalleled interpersonal communication skills, volunteer recruitment and retention methods and the importance of strong teamwork,” said Anderson. “Granted, there were plenty of long days, late nights and plenty of stress.”

Anderson emphasized that working on campaigns or with politics requires passion and determination and that people shouldn’t be afraid to put themselves out there.

“Working on a campaign is essentially a rite of passage in politics, so don’t let your inexperience keep you from pursuing an internship,” said Anderson. “I know I’ve grown fundamentally as a person, and I wouldn’t change that for the world.”

Apart from Jacobs and Anderson, Tristan Carman works with climate politics through a political organization known as NextGen Climate. As an organizing fellow, his job involves informing students, faculty and staff on campus about what the organization does.

“Something that we’re doing right now is we’re having people sign these pledge cards,” said Carman. “It’s called ‘50 by 30,’ and that’s where we’re trying to ask candidates and elected officials how they have a plan for 50 percent renewable energy by the year 2030.”

NextGen is a non-partisan nonprofit organization that acts politically to prevent climate disaster and promote prosperity for all Americans. This organization is committed to supporting candidates who take bold action on climate change.

“I love being able to meet with people and talk with people about important things such as NextGen because I think it’s important that people are aware of what’s happening to our climate,” said Carman. “It’s important that we work together to inform people about the organization as a whole.”

Carman has always been passionate about working with politicians and candidates to tailor ideas and learn how to combat global warming and climate change.

“You can’t write a bill and it just disappears,” said Carman. “We all have to deal with the climate and we don’t get a second chance. They always say there’s no plan B or anything.”

Jacobs, Anderson and Carman continue to actively work and advocate for campaigns and organizations in hopes that the passion they have for politics will help goals get reached.