Academics, Upper School

Seniors Take Action in Midterm Elections

Northwest School Senior Isobel M. is spending her first Trimester working on the I-940 campaign, an initiative measure that requires de-escalation training for law enforcement and changes the standards for deadly use of force. She is volunteering as part of the school’s Humanities 12 experience.

“People talk about action, and this project makes you own it. This is my bill, this is my passion, and it is really exciting to be a part of it,” says Isobel. Students are helping in a variety of ways, including phone banking, canvassing, and attending public forums.

The Humanities 12 project requires students to choose either to work on a political campaign or volunteer with local non-profit organizations that work on a variety of city/national issues, such as Planned Parenthood, EarthShare, and The ACTION Campaign.

Regardless of what they choose, students must volunteer for at least 15 hours, interview a candidate or a member of the campaign’s or non-profit’s staff, conduct an analysis of media materials, and write a final reflective paper.

For many students, the Hum 12 experience is their first foray into civic engagement. Senior Mosey B. volunteered to support Initiative 1631, which would institute a carbon fee in the state of Washington. Mosey canvassed in three different neighborhoods for I-1631, and he was impressed by the sophisticated operation behind the scenes.

“With technology, there is a big database and system that has it all narrowed down to undecided voters, people who would be affected by someone canvassing,” says Mosey. “It was interesting to see how that information was used in every way, including how they designed the script and what to say to voters.”

Many of the seniors, including Mosey, are not old enough to vote but find it valuable to engage in the democratic process. Mosey chose I-1631 because it was an issue that he deeply cares about. Finding agreement on complex subjects, one of the big issues facing modern day politics, was a key takeaway for him.

“Even if everyone has the same goal, in this case, green energy, it is really hard to do that in a way that everyone still agrees with,” says Mosey. “Something seemingly so simple quickly becomes more complex.”