Freshman Representative Elections

Elections will be held on September 18th from 7:00-9:00 p.m.

Only first-year, dues-paying members of GWCD can vote. Anyone arriving after the first round of voting will not be eligible to vote.

Please read on for the candidacy statements of all those running.

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The candidates

Foggy Bottom

Luke Briggs

Hello, I am Luke Briggs and I’m running for the GW Dems foggy bottom freshmen representative position.

My aim in earning this position is to show my commitment and passion for the Democrats, the freshmen Dems, and political and social issues as a whole. I want to work collectively with others to organize and implement events and activities to increase student engagement and raise awareness and support for Democratic issues.

I have also held several leadership positions throughout my high school career. I worked with organizations such as Amnesty International, this included organizing and aiding in events at my school concerning human rights.

Specifically, I helped present and organize events regarding the status of girls education rights across the world as well as movie showings of films like girl rising (which if you haven't watched I highly suggest that you do)

I've also had leadership experience throughout High school. I served as my high school marching band's Drum Major, the conductor and head student leader of the band. This entailed that I was not only the conductor of the ensemble, but also an instructor, a coordinator, and an ally who had to express a fair amount of interpersonal skills.

I hope that I have your vote and can serve the freshmen Democrats with the greatest care and commitment. Let's get GW at the top of the list for most politically active universities and keep GW Democrats as the largest and most politically active chapter in the nation!

Thank You

Bridget Anzano

Hello! My name is Bridget Anzano and I am running for Foggy Bottom Freshman Representative. I am from Hopewell New Jersey and am studying Political Science.

I am running for Freshman Representative because I have experience being an active member within the democratic party and the leadership skills necessary to be beneficial in continuing the extraordinary work of GW Dems.

I am an active member of the democratic party as shown by my work canvassing and phone banking through Get Out The Vote for Hillary Clinton. I have shown my support by attending rallies to hear Hillary Clinton, Bill Clinton, Tim Kaine, and Joe Biden speak. I have also been part of the resistance by attending Trump protests outside of his rallies. I believe that a dedication to the democratic party is the most important part about being your representative because it shows that I will have a voice to stand up for what we, as GW Dems, believe in.

I also have the skills necessary, as shown by the success I have had in several leadership positions. I was the Vice President of my class my sophomore, junior, and senior years, which taught me both how to represent a large body of diverse students and how to organize this diverse body to accomplish a common goal. I was also the President of the Model World Health Organization my junior and senior years. Under my two years of leadership, the club doubled both its size and its funds. In addition, I arranged for my congresswoman to speak to my Environmental class regarding how to combat climate change under the new administration.

I hope that my commitment to the democratic party and my success in leadership positions wins me your vote for Foggy Bottom Freshman Representative.

Jackson Williams

When looking at the Foggy Bottom Freshmen Representative position for GW College Democrats, what I think of is a student who is a leader, hard worker, and is passionate about creating a positive change. I believe I, Jackson Williams, embody these traits like none other. To me, a leader is someone who can listen, organize, and inspire those around them. I have been dedicated to growing my leadership abilities through volunteering and organizing events in my community that helped raise awareness about topics such as human trafficking, child hunger, and homelessness. In doing events to bring light to these causes I learned about delegating tasks and how to listen to those around me in order to make the different events more successful which are lessons that will guide me as a leader in GW Democrats. I’ve also been dedicated to learning more about the Democratic party which included me spending the majority of 2016 as a volunteer for the Clinton Campaign and for NH Democrats. In doing this, I was also able to learn about the political system while gaining experience in organizing rallies and phone banking. During the campaign, I learned about the importance of bringing people together and how there can be strength in numbers and I want to bring these ideas to GW Democrats. As the Foggy Bottom representative, I will focus on uniting the GW Democrat Freshmen through service and social activities to help create a positive environment in which we can not only help elect democrats, but also build better relationships with one another. I will always be open minded to new ideas and willing to learn from those around me. Now please, exercise your right to vote and vote Jackson Williams for Foggy Bottom Representative for GW College Democrats, where the popular vote counts.

Jill Bendlak

Hey Dems, my name is Jill Bendlak and I am running for the Foggy Bottom Freshman Representative position.

After the 2016 election, I was at a loss, and I’m sure you all experienced the same feeling. While many high schools had democratic organizations, student political groups, or a forum to speak--I had none. Soon after Trump was elected, my friends and I started the High School Democrats Club at my school. Although we had a small group, the club provided us with an outlet to express our opinions, views, and things we wanted to see change in the political system. We were making a difference, one step at a time. My passion for politics, like most, began with Student Council in high school and I absolutely loved representing my class and creating events that students wanted to participate in. But the thing I especially valued was influencing change to make student life better. Through Student Council, I became well-versed in public communication by making various professional speeches and perfected the art of organization, scheduling, and time-management.

As your freshman rep, I want to get our class excited, passionate, and prepared to face the world. This past election, many of us could not vote, leaving us with a feeling of helplessness. But, with GW Dems, there is a way for all of us, even freshmen, to get involved. I hope to plan many different freshmen-oriented events to bring our class together and to discuss new ideas to make the organization even better and bigger. As your freshman rep, I want you to feel comfortable communicating with me about your concerns and questions. Now is the time to step up, and I would be honored to be a part in making a change with all of you. Thank you.

Charlie Hume

My name is Charlie Hume, and I’m running to be a Freshman

Representative because I want to make a difference in our community and in our country. The GW Dems are the largest, most active group of student democrats in the entire country- a formidable alliance of some of our country’s most engaged, enthusiastic citizens. It is one of the most influential factors that lead me to decide to attend GW. I was compelled by the opportunity to potentially be a part of such a profoundly powerful organization, and additionally, by the potential to work within that organization to enact meaningful change. And now, here I am, and I believe that I am a phenomenal candidate to serve the interests of my class on the DW Dems Executive Board. I’ve been thinking a lot about the ways in which I hope to enact change in D.C, and I think that I have a lot of fresh, unique ideas that, hopefully, people will join me in pursuing. Specifically, I’d like to draw people’s attention to the fight against big money in politics, a cause that I am particularly passionate about. I believe that, in many, many cases, our nation’s problems can be traced back to the role of big money in politics and by the grossly unjust political influence held by corporate America. I firmly believe that it will be impossible to make progress in this country- whether it pertain to racial equality, gender equality, economic equality, LGBTQ rights, or any other major progressive cause- until we win the fight against big money in politics, and the fight starts with Citizens United. I’ll be highlighting more of my ideas during my speech, which I am eager to deliver to my peers. But, to conclude, I’ll leave you with a quote:

“A nation will not survive morally or economically while so few have so much and so many have so little.” - Bernard Sanders, the world’s favorite socialist Jew since Jesus.

Ophir Cohen-Simayof

Hello fellow 10th most politically active teens! I’m Ophir Cohen-Simayof, your friendly neighborhood nasty gal Political Science major from Thurston and I’m running to be your Freshmen Representative.

I joined College Dems to be part of a community that has the passion and power to make meaningful impacts on important issues. I began to get involved in the Democrat party during the 2016 election, when I interned for a local district supervisor campaign run by Joel Engardio, who at the time was a member of the San Francisco Democratic County Central Committee. Joel taught me a lot, like how to create a viable political platform and organize events like meet-and-greets, debates (even one at my school!) and canvassing opportunities, all of which helped me when I began working for the grassroots organization Bay Area 350.

The first project I led for 350 was to get the coal train in Oakland banned, whose dust would have dire consequences on the immediate community, like asthma and heart disease, and would pass through the poorer parts of the city. We held conferences and spoke at environmental conventions to activate the community, created petitions, gave presentations at Oakland schools and contacted city officials.   

As your Freshmen Rep, I would use these and other experiences to mobilize our class. I am excited to get to know all of you, whether it’s through munching on pizza at pajama parties or protesting whatever this week’s egregious decision the Trump administration made. The Class of 2021 has added 400 Dems to the chapter, and I am so proud to finally be one of them. There is strength in numbers, especially in ours, and I can’t wait to see all the great things we will accomplish.

Mount Vernon

Zachary Bloom

Hi fellow freshman Democrats! My name is Zach Bloom and I’m running for the Mt. Vernon Freshman Representative. I currently live at the humble abode of Cole Hall and am double majoring in Political Science and History. My home town is the snow covered city of Buffalo, NY. Over the years in Buffalo, I have interned at Congressman Brian Higgin’s office, the campaign to reelect Erie County Executive Mark Poloncarz, the Erie County Democratic Committee, and on Hillary Clinton’s 2016 presidential election campaign (all democrats of course!). Now as fellow Vernians I think we can all agree on one thing, taking the Vex sucks! That’s why I promise if elected Mt. Vernon Freshman Rep. to advocate for events on the Vern. That way we don’t have to give up another 30mins-1 hr of our lives to the Vex. Together with your vote, we can make this happen and more so that Mt. Vernon can bloom!

Kevin Gartland

I’m Kevin Keelty Gartland, and I’m running for Mount Vernon freshman representative.

Donald Trump is the worst president since at least Andrew Jackson, and it’s not like there isn’t competition. Dems’ work is more important than ever, and we need a good freshman rep to help Dems be a well-oiled machine.

You can count on me to work tirelessly because I know the stakes of the current political situation firsthand. I’m gay, and I have hemophilia—one of the most expensive chronic conditions in existence. It’s my civil rights that are being threatened. It’s my healthcare they’re trying to take away.

I’m qualified to help run College Dems because I have experience with leadership, activism, and campaigning. I’m an Eagle Scout, and I was the elected leader of my local Boy Scout troop. I was on the board of my high school’s GSA; I helped organize and run various events and awareness campaigns for LGBT+ rights. I volunteered with Hillary Clinton’s presidential campaign from January 2016 up until Election Day. I can use my experience to hit the ground running.

We—younger voters—are the most powerful weapon that Democrats have in our fight against the bigoted plutocracy that the Republicans represent. We can defend undocumented Americans. We can raise wages. We can make sure that America has equality not just in theory, but in practice. If we vote, if we speak out, if we reach out, we can make it all happen. I’ll make sure that those of us on the Vern are a part of this fight, and I’ll work to create a dedicated community of Dems on the Vern through events and outreach.

Let's work together to give Dems a great year!

Nati Knobler

Throughout my young adult life, I’ve learned and discovered many things, but there has been one idea that has stuck with me more than any other, and has become the guiding light of my life: Noblesse Oblige. The phrase denotes the belief in the duty of the nobility to help the disadvantaged. In its essence it’s the belief of the responsibility of all people of privilege to help the suffering. My abiding faith in this idea doesn't merely come from my virtue but also from the direct role it played in my own life. When I was 6 years old I was adopted from an orphanage in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia. See, my father had died when I was a baby and my mother couldn't take care of me. She was ill and on the verge of death. By giving me away she saved my life. I came to America in 04, given a second shot at life from the kindness of a big hearted family in California, the Nobler’s. I was given a childhood and a future from their generosity and compassion. My parents even sent my Ethiopian mother the life saving drugs she needed to live. Everything I’ve received in life came from the virtue of more privileged people and now that I’m in a place of privilege, now that we are in a place of privilege that baton of responsibility is passed to us. Whether it be through politics or activism we will be the difference in the world that lifts the struggling, the poor, the oppressed from destitution to prosperity. We all have a role to play in this coming political revolution, and I ensure that I will fight everyday for equity, fraternity, and the democratic values that have made this nation the envy of the world.

Alexander Hupp

As we well know, the Democratic Party is at its lowest point in roughly a decade. We need a revival of the liberal values that once benefited Americans across North America and beyond, but we also need to secure its position for decades to come. This all originates at the grassroots level, and at GW, we need student leaders that will assist the spread of liberalism in the nation’s capital. This is why I, Alexander Hupp, want to be your Freshman Representative from the Mount Vernon campus.

 

Leadership is not a new concept for me. This past year I aided in laying the foundation for my school’s Young Democrats of America chapter, and within it I, assumed an active role

planning events such as the prominent Women’s March set in downtown San Diego. I helped ensure that the young Democrat’s voice was heard. I intend to do the same with my you, my peers, here at GW. As someone who looks not just at the present but also at what lies ahead, I have taken the initiative to organize event ideas that may pique your interest. Some of these events are social, such as ice cream or taco socials. But many are to encourage you, the future advocates of liberal ideology, to find a home with GW College Democrats if you have not already. I want all of us to be active in society: not just within GW, but across the capital and in our hometowns. I plan on organizing a new voter information session, which will include tips on how to register and what certain terms mean, in order to achieve that goal. Please keep this in mind on September 18th, and remember to vote Hupp

Fredrico Pride

After a disappointing loss in the 2016 election cycle, the Democratic Party is going through a time of internal organization and growth. As the party prepares for 2018 and ultimately 2020, as your Mt. Vernon Freshman Rep, I will work to get GW College Democrats ready as well. Even though cynics may claim that our party doesn’t represent the interests of young people, it is up to us to prove them wrong. As Donald Trump and the Republican Party continually disparage the dreams of young people, college students, and people of all minorities, it is our job to impact the GW voting base; to ensure that the majority of our university's voice is loud and clear in supporting democrats in taking back the House, Senate, and Oval Office. As additions of the current Eboard, the future of reaching these goals will be the responsibilities of the Freshmen of GW College Democrats. The Presidential election in November of our Senior Year will be the most important election that we have yet to experience. In order to prepare for this, and the 2018 midterms, we need to develop the infrastructure now to to ensure that our progressive values are clear and in tune with our student base. To do this, we must engage the freshman class immediately.

The position of Freshman Representation is intended to cultivate leadership amongst the class of 2021, work with peers to strengthen our voice, and create a sense of community within the organization. This is something I know all too well. Among many other leadership experiences, but especially as an instagram blogger on social issues and leader of my Gender Sexuality Alliance, I led fundraisers and food drives to directly impact organizations sparking positive change. Leading in this capacity is second nature to me. I am a team builder, I am a voice embodying progressive values, and I am the energy needed to lead this organization’s future to success. I am ready to work with and for college dems.

Shelby Singleton

Hello, my name is Shelby Singleton and I would like to run for freshman class Mount Vernon campus representative. Politics is the main reason why I am attending George Washington University. I have such a strong and passionate interest in social justice and politics, which is one of the reasons why I am interested in the GW Democrats Club. The impact this organization has on campus, and the politic climate of D.C. in general, is inspiring. However, I feel as though with my leadership experience this organization could be even more impactful. As I recently protested in front of the White House because of the decision to repeal Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA), my passion for justice and change really became clear to me. I want to help change our community and our country in the best way possible, and this is the most significant way. Also, as a proud Somers resident, I feel as though I understand the struggles of living on the Vern and can best represent my fellow Vernies. If I am elected, I will actively bring more opportunities and meetings to the Vern so that students on campus can still feel included. A vote for Shelby is a vote for inclusiveness!