When a political campaign has the appearance of a well-oiled machine, it’s not accidental. It’s actually a reflection of a wide variety of people working well together, behind the scenes, to promote a candidate they believe in.
The “Students for Ashley Ehasz” Twitter account is a case in point because it contains opinions that represent America’s future.
The Beacon had a unique opportunity to gain insight about current issues from the viewpoint of Ehasz volunteers who are the students behind the Twitter account.
Ashley Ehasz is the Democratic contender for Pennsylvania’s First Congressional District that encompasses all of Bucks County and a small slice of Montgomery County.
Every generation has faced challenges, however the current 18-33 year old age group is confronted with a new assortment of very real and urgent dangers including global warming, the retention of civil rights, loss of reproductive rights, and the potential loss of democracy in the United States.
“Reproductive justice, gun control, LGBTQ+ rights, racial injustice. It’s the 21st Century and basic human rights are on the line. It’s unacceptable,” said Kate Lyden, a 20-year-old junior at Lehigh University.
Ehasz has a message that resonates with young voters – unlike her opponent Republican Congressman Brian Fitzpatrick, who his critics say has repeatedly voted against the interests of a majority of his constituents.
“He’s voted against women, he’s voted against people of the LGBTQ+ community, and he’s voted against the working class. Time and time again he has shown he’s more concerned about getting re-elected than working to create positive change in his district and in the country,” Lyden added.
All told, the Students for Ashley Ehasz Twitter account is comprised of 45 volunteers. Some are high school seniors, others are in college or are recent college graduates, but all share a similar viewpoint about the future: it’s our turn, and they’re not wrong.
READ: My Experience Working for Ashley Ehasz as a Young Field Organizer
“[Fitzpatrick’s] 2017 vote for the Trump Tax Cut was such a joke. Our district has a lot of working-class people in it, and I think he’s lied about how much they’ll benefit from this tax cut that overwhelmingly favored the wealthy and corporations,” said Matt Selya, a 24-year-old recent Temple University graduate.
In 2017, Fitzpatrick voted to reduce taxes on major corporations from 35 to 20 percent that reduced federal revenue by $1.5 trillion.
“I believe [Ehasz] understands the struggles that people my age are experiencing in a country that feels more built for the 1% than it does for us,” Selya added.
Mallorie Marsan is 17 years old and attends Council Rock High School South. She, too, sees the disparity that exists in 2022 America.
“By far, the most important issue for 18 to 33 year olds today is our unfair socioeconomic system. This should not be simply reduced to economic issues, we should realize the systemic oppression against minorities and the working class and how it’s caused our generation to fiscally fall behind the previous ones,” she said.
Marsan also commented about the state of higher education in the country. She isn’t afraid of not being accepted by the university of her choice but, instead, the cost and if she can afford it.
Two additional issues came to light.
“Definitely abortion rights and her stances on guns,” was Nomah Elliot’s response when asked why she chose to volunteer for the Ehasz campaign. Elliot is 18 and attends the Solebury School.
“I also grew up doing active shooter drills every few months at school and experienced extreme terror,” she added. “I shouldn’t have to worry about my safety at school, and things such as universal background checks,” she said.
Interesting responses were offered when asked what Fitzpatrick has gotten wrong during his three terms in Congress.
“He’s out of touch with his constituents.”
“Fitzpatrick is a rubber stamp for the GOP agenda.”
“He has, in my opinion, manipulated his image to downplay the harmful things he does.”
“He discouraged the peaceful protests that came up after George Floyd’s death, but then he turned around and voted against forming the committee to investigate the violence that happened on January 6th.”
Respondents also had advice for the Democratic Party:
“They need to focus on young people.”
“Increasing turnout amongst young voters. We are the future.”
“I think that the messaging needs to focus more on getting people to vote and education on how democracy works.”
“As a party, Democrats need to think bigger, and not be afraid to reach higher.”
Hopeful for an Ehasz win in November, and with the majority remarking that the campaign experience provided them with a sense of community, their sights are set on the future. Their drive and desire should serve as a message to everyone seeking a better America: vote – our democracy depends on it.