The RunTerns | We are the future of politics.

RunTerns are the group of college aged interns at Run for Something. They are bold young leaders from across the country that work with us to gain practical experience in the political arena.

By Monique Carchi

Gen Z is the most diverse generation yet, and are entering adulthood with a more liberal perspective (Pew Research Center). Our power will greatly influence politics not only now, but well into the future. We’re not the old, white men who have wielded power for centuries, making laws while not even remotely understanding the needs of young people.

Gen Z’s political interest really started to take shape during the 2016 election, when the oldest of the generation met the voting age. At first it was just funny memes and tweets going around, but after Trump took office and harmful policies were passed, Gen Z quickly realized how much politics affected us on a very large scale.

I was 19 years old during the 2016 election, I could’ve voted. So why didn’t I? For many first generation Zoomers like me, engaging in politics doesn’t always feel like a necessity or a right, but a luxury. My mother was a legal immigrant long before I was born but never a citizen. She simply had no real interest in politics because she had no say. She couldn’t vote, she simply kept her head down and didn’t make any trouble. This was a country that wouldn’t fight for her, so why fight for it? Unintentionally, I adopted that same ideology.

The 2020 elections were many young people’s introduction to politics, including mine. Social media did magic to quickly educate young people on the horrors of the Trump presidency. By the 2020 elections, there was one simple goal: get that man out of office. Our generation wasn’t going to let Trump get re-elected and many realized, like me, that our voices can be heard, our votes can make a difference. And it worked. In the 2020 elections, NBC exit polls reported that Gen Z propelled Biden into the White House with 65% of voters between 18–24 years voting for him.

We’re now more engaged in politics than ever (Bill McClain, CNBC Make It). Once I realized the difference we could make, I started as a Communications intern at Run for Something. At first I was worried. What is someone like me, with no political background or vast political knowledge, working for an organization like this? Did you even know people like us could run for office? I didn’t!

But I quickly realized the team at Run for Something mean it when they say,

“Throw everything you know about politics out the window. We don’t care about your resume or your background. If you’re progressive and you care about improving your local community, we want to help you run.”

They didn’t care about how politically versed I was; they simply saw my value and helped me plug in what I lacked. I realized the difference I’m making just by being a part of the conversation, and now I know how to fight for rights that are important to me and my communities.

I say this to all young people who may find politics confusing, intimidating: It’s okay if you don’t know the difference between your city council representative and your state Senate representative. As long as you care, there will always be an entry point. We can’t return to our ignorant days before Trump just because we’re “good now.” There will always be a reason to fight as long as there are people in office making laws for us who don’t understand us.

We are the future of politics, and our voice has power.

Monique Carchi is a first generation Filipino-Ecuadorian-American from Queens. She is a graduating senior at City College of New York double majoring in Film and Advertising/Public Relations.




Recruiting & supporting young people running for office. Building a Democratic bench. Want to help?

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