In a final installment of JPI’s 2016 election coverage, we bring you two articles, with each writer arguing why their candidate should be elected President of the United States. Please click here to read the Case for Donald J Trump.
I often joke that as a young Hispanic woman whose parents worked for the government, there’s no way I’d have ever turned out anything but a Democrat. My parents always showed me the value of civil service and raised me with a deep respect for equality, diversity, and the importance of education.
Coming from this background and as a political science student at Elon University, I’m voting for Hillary Clinton as my president. Clinton had been my candidate all along—I supported her in the primaries because of her strong public service record and her experience. But as I’ve worked on her campaign, I’ve learned more about her and her core beliefs. And the more I learn, the more #I’mWithHer.
As the daughter of a Puerto Rican man, I cherish the culture my father has passed down to me. It hurts to see his birthplace branded as second-class when its economy is in crisis and its residents face more expensive Medicare and Medicaid rates. I am outraged that half of my family cannot vote for their Commander in Chief. Secretary Clinton promises to resolve Puerto Rico’s political status according to what Puerto Ricans themselves decide and grant them the right to vote for their president.
I stand with Hillary Clinton because my parents enrolled me in a Montessori School and I believe universal preschool is crucial to a student’s later success. At first glance, coloring and playing may sound unnecessary, but that’s not why I went to preschool. No, my parents enrolled me when I was two and a half years old because I’m an only child, and they wanted to make sure their little girl could learn to use her voice to stand up for herself.
It’s that very voice that Clinton fights to protect everyday at the ballot box. As a Summer Fellow for Rock the Vote, I researched voter registration deadlines and how they impact voters; I saw the hardships students face with restrictive requirements for absentee ballots; I felt the pain of minorities disenfranchised because of discriminatory voter identification laws. Clinton’s plan will create opt-out voter registration, which means citizens will be automatically registered when they turn 18. She will also repair the Voting Rights Act, restore voting rights to felons who have dutifully served their sentences, and nationalize early voting. Voting is the bedrock of our democracy, and Hillary Clinton’s protection of this most sacred right is one of the core reasons I’m voting for her.
Clinton’s belief that women’s rights are human rights makes me feel safe and valued in our society. I’ve worked three unpaid internships and I absolutely refuse to believe that the only time in my life I will be paid the same as a man is when we both aren’t getting paid. Hillary Clinton will work to ensure that I am compensated fairly. As a 22-year-old woman, I know that I may eventually be blessed with a child. I am confident to face that future knowing that Secretary Clinton’s plan will provide both my husband and I with paid family leave, so we can nurture and support our baby together. When we return to work, her plan for affordable childcare will enable us to continue to do so. And when I choose to stop having children, Hillary Clinton will ensure I receive the quality healthcare I need.
#I’mWithHer because Clinton understands America’s role in the international arena. When I traveled from Estonia to Russia with People to People Student Ambassador Programs, my tourist delegation’s bus was detained at the border. Russian officials, suspicious and hostile towards a group of Americans, forced us to walk the no-man’s-land between Estonia and Russia at night, suitcases in tow. I’ve seen a fear, similar to what we felt that night, etched into our NATO brothers’ and sisters’ faces, and I understand the need to protect our allies, especially after they came to our aid after 9/11. Secretary Clinton understands our global commitments and is a skilled diplomat. I trust her to be my voice abroad. And when immigrants from around the world seek to join in our American Dream, I trust her to speak for them too—to treat them humanely, to keep families together, and to promote a path to citizenship. After all, we are the land of the free and the home of the brave. There is no limit to what we can accomplish, because we are truly #StrongerTogether.
A senior at Elon University, Gabriela Alvarez is double majoring in International Studies and Political Science, with minors in Peace & Conflict Studies and Dance. After interning at the White House this past summer with Vice President Biden’s speechwriting staff, Gabriela fell in love with speechwriting and one day aspires to return to the White House in this capacity. She is particularly passionate about voting rights, race relations, and global engagement, and can often be found reading CNN articles, watching Disney movies, and working on the Hillary for America campaign.