So I’ve Been Nominated –
Samara — a non-partisan group focused on involving more people into the political process — has nominated yours truly for its Everyday Political Citizen Project. As a young man of 22 years who has been involved in all three levels of politics as a volunteer, writing this blog for the last four years, and someone who cares passionately about the political process, I am thoroughly overjoyed at the recognition being given to me by this organization.
The point made by the project — and the job they’ve taken on themselves — is to highlight role models for political engagement. These people are meant to inspire others and get involved themselves.
Firstly, I think I do this in spades. Between being a young liberal in Calgary, taking on membership chairmanships, the presidency of three different riding associations, and taking leadership roles in campaigns (federal, provincial, and municipal), I have included thousands into the political system. Doubling the membership of Calgary-Centre North when I was 17 — from a little under 150 to over 300 — as its membership chair was a great experience and brought many people from being in that political limbo back to being involved. Eventually my riding association and I were recognized with the Membership Award at the Liberal Party of Canada in Alberta’s AGM later that year.
And I’ve still pushed forward since. I restarted the Calgary-East Federal Liberal association — taking it from 5 members to over 100 in eight months. Between a search for a candidate — a catalyst if I ever met one — and fundraising for an election I met so many people from all across the city. Then, I continued being a young liberal, taking leadership roles in the University of Calgary Liberal Association and the Alberta Young Liberals. I’ve been a public figure and a leader, making media appearances all the while involving people one on one. You can see my numerous appearances in the news on my professional website here.
Then my involvement as a non-partisan individual involving people in politics? I’ve represented thousands of students at my university, first as a representative of the Arts faculty and then as the Board of Governors student representative. In each role I advocated for thousands of students, working on bringing Arabic programs to the UofC, creating an Arts Lounge for the 7,000 students in the Arts faculty, advocating on tuition for the 27,000 students at the UofC, and being an advocate for a transparent, accountable Students’ Union and university. I am a capable person who has worked with a plethora of people, from all walks of life, to get some great things done.
This also all forgets the myriad of other projects I’m working on. One such project is being the Publicity Chair for the Canadian Club of Calgary, building a website, a media strategy, and membership system for them. Another is poli-tech.ca, a project that sought to include technology and its impact in on the political process.
Now I’m running for the presidency of the University of Calgary Liberal Association (voting day is on Sunday) and running the campaign for Judy Hehr in Calgary’s Public School Trustee race.
So I’m engaging people, many for the first time, in the political process. I’m changing minds and bringing people closer to a system that has alienated so many and served so few. I am a passionate everyday political citizen.
And you should be too.