By Alexa Rocourt
With the upcoming midterm election and her belief in voter responsibility, 21-year-old Camille Torres is set on having her opinions heard in the polls in her hometown, Saint Petersburg, Florida.
Torres says she was taught by her parents to voice her opinions at a young age. “They have always been great about fostering an environment where I should care and allowed me to be an opinionated person,” she said.
A senior specializing in Political Science and International Studies, Torres spent her summer working at The Blue Lab, a progressive campaign incubator in Boston, where she participated in campaigns for two female politicians, Tram Nguyen and Governor Councilor Eileen Duff. She believes “a more representative democracy is a more just democracy.”
Torres feels participation in this midterm election is more important than the 2020 presidential election because she believes local representatives matter and impact citizens more directly. “People forget that the President is not like a king or dictator; he doesn’t decide everything,” she said. She says she personally wants to vote for people who represent her views on gun control and immigration.
During her senior year of high school, she experienced four lockdowns caused by armed students and remembers the terror of feeling vulnerable. Ever since, she has felt strongly about promoting gun control and highly discourages the idea of allowing weapons in schools. “I saw teachers who would have fought for themselves first, so thinking about teachers having a gun in their hands while also being panicked is a really scary thought for me,” she said.
With the policy changes made to the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals program (DACA), Torres says, she is afraid deportations will continue to increase if the administration feels the need to resist democratic efforts to save the fate of the program.
“I feel like we haven’t gone forwards in a lot of ways during this term … and that scares me because I feel the next two cycles will be just be rebuilding and that puts us 12 years behind,” she said.