Activist Spotlight: Marla Teixeira ’18
Major: Peace and Justice Studies
Minor(s): Politics and Business Management
Graduation Year: 2018
Career Aspirations: Grassroots Campaign Organizer
What excited you most about the opportunity to become a Vote Everywhere Ambassador?
I am in love with democracy. Just the idea of putting the power back into the people’s hands makes me want to get up in the morning, and I saw Vote Everywhere as an extension of that. I wanted to increase voter participation and awareness, and encourage students to stay politically active because our voice counts!
What is your favorite thing about your role?
I love creating new campaigns to inform students about current issues, creating interactive Take Actions and registering students to vote. It’s so much fun to be creative and interact with other students.
It’s so important to learn early on that your voice matters. Registering people to vote and encouraging them to head to the polls is a big part of that, but so is letting students know that their action doesn’t need to stop at the ballot.
Why do you think it’s important for students to register to vote and be involved in the political process?
It’s so important to learn early on that your voice matters. Registering people to vote and encouraging them to head to the polls is a big part of that, but so is letting students know that their action doesn’t need to stop at the ballot. Decisions are being made by our representatives daily and those decisions are supposed to represent the wants and needs of their constituents. Since elections are only held occasionally we need to find other ways to make our voices heard. This is what I’m here to help students with. You need to realize that your vote, your letter, your tweet, your voice counts. Politicians are representing YOU, not themselves – don’t let them make you forget that!
The thing that drives me most as both an activist and a politically engaged citizen are the successes, even if they are small. When you get all your friends to write a letter to their representative about an issue they don’t agree with, and that ends up changing the system for the better- that’s the best feeling. When democracy works, there’s really nothing like it. I want those small successes to be turned into bigger ones, to benefit more people who suffer from bigger injustices. That’s what keeps me going – knowing that someday we will live in a fully functional democracy.
What are some issues you’re especially passionate about, and why?
Currently, the issue I am most passionate about is immigrant justice in the United States. With this administration’s crackdown on undocumented people in the US, many families are being separated without a moment’s notice, workers are being scammed out of their hard earned salaries and Dreamers are being deprived of their right to learn. We need to remind ourselves that this country was built by both natives AND immigrants. That’s who we are!
That’s what keeps me going – knowing that someday we will live in a fully functional democracy.
Tell us about your plans for this semester!
This semester is full of exciting projects. The common theme is: “Your voice goes beyond the ballot,” so we’re having many Take Action tables on current issues that need our support, we’re writing letters to representatives, tweeting them and even having a full week of action on voting and the political process. It’s going to be a blast, so make sure you don’t miss out! Look for our posters around campus or on the CCAR newsletter.
How can Pace students get involved with Vote Everywhere?
There are always exciting projects Vote Everywhere is working on and we would love to have the help of Pace students! Anything from Take Action tabling to spreading the word about voter registration on Pace Radio, all help is welcome. If you’re interested please email firstname.lastname@example.org, sign up for the Vote Everywhere newsletter, or come to Y-31 and introduce yourself. I look forward to hearing from you!