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Your Voice Does Matter – Ask Erin Schrode

Samantha Reposa

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Ask an average 25-year-old what they are doing with their life and they will laugh in your face because odds are they are clueless. Ask Erin Schrode, a 25-year-old from California, what she is doing with her life and she explain how she is shaking up the societal norms while inspiring change through not only the nation, but the world.

Schrode became an international sensation within the political spectrum last year during the primary election when she ran for the 2nd Congressional District in hopes of becoming the youngest member of the House of Representatives in history and deliver the “promise of her generation.”

“We deserve a place at the decision making table,” Schrode said. “Period. End of story.”

Eleven days before the deadline to file papers to run for the 2nd Congressional District in California and 72 days before the California election, Schrode gave a speech addressing the problems and what needed to be fixed in her town. Shortly after, Schrode was bombarded with people encouraging her to run for a seat in the United States House of Representatives against incumbent Jared Huffman (D-CA), which she laughed off.  

“I never thought I would be a politician and I’m not,” Schrode said.

Before filing her name in to run, Schrode wrote a letter to herself to explain why she was running and put her potential campaign in perspective to stay grounded.

Schrode ran her 2015 campaign on four pillars: environment and public health, learning, gender rights, and tech innovation, while redefining public service and expanding what it means to be politician.

Her campaign educated not only voters within her district, but the nation about the vitality of fiscally renovating the student loan and grant system to make higher education an opportunity to all, raising minimum wage, and immersing technology more prominently between Washington and voters to create the conversation of issues and concerns, which started a movement among millennials across the country.

“People tell me, ‘Erin, you made me care about issues I didn’t know existed,’” says Schrode as she is an advocate for change and equality across the board.

Though, she did not earn a seat in the house, she did ignite a conversation that could be heard, both nationally and internationally, that millennials are ready to take a stand.

Schrode said, “I am so proud to have run the campaign we performed and the campaign we committed.”

She continues to tour the country advocating for the gender rights, immigration, and more recently was seen in the midst of the Dakota Pipeline demonstrations where she was shot with a rubber bullet by police forces while interviewing a protester.

Schrode is also traveling from city to city encouraging citizens to make sure they vote in what some are considering the most historical and vital election in America’s history. With a woman in the running, she is sharing the message of democratic candidate Hillary Rodham Clinton in fear of what the country may become if republican nominee Donald J. Trump is elected into the White House.

“I’m all in,” Schrode said.  “I believe she is the only option for President.”

Recently, Schrode wrote an article for Cosmopolitan on her experience with sexual assault – an antidote that has never been shared with anyone before, but was inspired by the actions of Trump.

“I saw him attack the character and integrity of women,” Schrode said lead her to speak out.

While bearing witness to the words and attacks directed at women by Trump, Schrode thought about the multitude of times men crossed the line of degrading women both verbally and physically.

After the recent stream of events with sexual assault being overlooked, not be taken seriously and presidential candidates picking fun at women who have claimed to be sexually harassed or abused, the issue is at a pinnacle of controversy that is in desperate need of confirmation from society and the government.

“It has to change and will not change if we don’t call it out the condoning of vile, predatory action,” Schrode said.

If Trump is elected into office, Schrode believes it will be catastrophic for the entire state of the nation and has been engaging in efforts to promote Clinton by promoting her candidacy as she hopes it will inspire women of all ages to join the fight in breaking the glass ceiling in politics.

“I’m really excited. I think we need more women across the board,” said Schrode.“I hope it will push women to run.”

For many millennials, this is the first presidential election that they can partake in and many women of the generation are excited to say that their first presidential vote was casted to the first woman President of the United States. But, it is just not millennials who are excite, but women of all ages, especially the older generations who are brought to tears at the thought of having a woman and to look back at how far they have come since they were granted the privileges and opportunity set forth by the 19th Amendment.

“I think about what it meant for many people in the country for Barack Obama to be elected in 2008 – it just expanded the possibilities.”

Schrode has shaken the world with her words and actions as a student, advocate, journalist, and now politician leading the revolution of millennials to utilize the opportunities they are given. Though, Schrode will definitely be back in the political game as key player when the time is right to take the revolution to new heights, but until then, she will continue her mission of “delivering the promise of our generation.”

To learn more on Erin Schrode and her mission visit her website erinschrode.com or follow her on twitter at @ErinSchrode.

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Your Voice Does Matter – Ask Erin Schrode