Tell us about a person who inspired you in the ideals of public service.

My grandfather has actively participated in and debated about politics for the last 60+ years of his life. He has always encouraged me to form my own opinions and act in accordance with them. He has shown me that not only should you stand for what you believe in at the dinner table or with close friends, but amongst your community as well. If not in conversation then in op-eds to the local newspapers or letters to your representatives. For years now he has repeated the mantra that your vote is your voice, and I believe it now more than ever. His faith in this country and the constant belief that we can all serve to better it is what drives me to public service today.

Why does gerrymandering bother you?

I come from a county that has almost always been split into separate districts. More often than not, gerrymandering divides groups of people who share common interests for the sake of political gain. Instead of being representative of a cohesive district, our representatives are able to cherry-pick which constituents give them the best chance at reelection. It is not a party-issue, it is an issue of proper representation. And if citizens have no say in how the lines are drawn, then I am afraid that gerrymandering will persist. It should be baked into the process that our maps are not only fair but open to comment from the very people they stand to represent.

See Lauren's previous mapping entries:

Fall 2019 (Western Higher Ed Honorable Mention)