AU Dems President Reflects on 2020 Ticket Issues

Jeremy Ward, executive director of American University College Democrats (AU Dems), molded his connection to politics through family ties. 

In his formative years he studied medical research at science fairs and attended forums in Washington D.C.  

“My mom’s family is all in medicine and my dad’s family’s all in government,” he said. This background shaped his interests around healthcare and policy. Studying political science today, he said, “politics is the natural way to kind of bring both of those together.” 

He speaks with a sense of introspection and a constant smile. Originally from Brentwood, Calif., Ward moved to Pine Bluff, Ark. in early high school. In the midst of the current pandemic he finds himself still home today, working remotely. 

“I was about to sign the lease the day they sent out the email,” he said in reference to the school’s announcement that classes were being moved online. 

He may be saving some money living at home, but the pandemic remains a prominent issue in his life. 

“My mom’s family (including his mother), they’re all frontline workers. So, them working at a hospital and the pandemic still not being under control, it’s definitely nerve-wracking,” he said. 

Ward himself was in and out of children’s hospitals as a young child. “Having been in the hospital,” he said, “having been on a ventilator before too, I don’t, like remember it, but knowing I’ve been on one … knowing the struggles that come from that, I definitely feel a certain way.”  

The most important issue facing the country on the other hand, “would probably have to be racial justice,” he said, “but I may be a little bit biased on that.”  

Ward was the first African American Speaker of the Undergraduate Senate at American University, as well as the first African American to head AU Dems.  

Ward prefaced the statement saying, “there are so many important things this year, democracy at large is important.”

Ending the discussion on the election, Ward expressed a little frustration saying, “but you would think that these wouldn’t be political issues.”  

Throughout most of the conversation he maintained a relative optimism that moving to a better place is attainable, however, we sit on the edge of moving back all over again. He even looks for the silver linings in the current administration both he and AU Dems strongly oppose.

Come this fall, Ward will be taking the issues of racial justice, healthcare and the pandemic on, in part, by casting his vote. However, with legitimate concerns that a mail in ballot may get lost or slowed, he will be sure to physically turn in his early vote.

Jeremy Ward, AU Dems President, joins a zoom call to discuss the greatest issues that face him both himself personally and the country nationally, as we come up on the November election.

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