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Q&A with Rachel Clay

Smoky Mountain News:

Rachel Clay is a voting rights activist. She works as the Southeast Regional Coordinator for the Campus Vote Project, a nonpartisan organization that works directly with colleges and universities to normalize and institutionalize student voting. Rachel is from Raleigh, she graduated from Appstate with B.A. 's in political science and women’s studies and she currently resides in Asheville, North Carolina.

Rumble: What is the best way people can get involved with Campus Vote, or voting rights generally to help turn out voters in this election?

Clay: For us, the only way to work with CVP is if you are a student, you want to be a donor, or are working at a college. We work directly with campuses.

But anybody that lives in any city can find people already doing the work. Getting involved in local chapters, local organizations is a great way to start. It’s important to work on local issues, as those tend to have more noticeable impacts on our daily lives. Infrastructures already exist, and if you get on board with that, it won’t be building from the ground up to make a difference or help out.

The whole “vote plus one,” vote and then do something else. So that could look like getting involved in police accountability in your community, environmental justice, learning who’s on your local school board. There are so many meetings you can attend to learn, understand and share your input about local issues. I really recommend going to your local town or city meetings.

Another important thing is local news, shout out to you guys. Local newspapers and news outlets are one of the best ways to stay up to date on local issues. I read the Asheville Citizen Times and Mountain Express every week, it’s one of the best starting points.

And then just talking to people around you. We also always encourage people to run for office, whenever they are able.

With most of this stuff I am thinking about people in the 30-50 year age range. The majority of that group will have more stability in their lives, possibly have been in a community longer.

For college students there are a ton of different options like clubs and volunteering on campus.

Read the full article here.


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