#CelebrateBlackHistory – Natasha McKenzie, President of the College Democrats of America

What or who inspired you to get involved in politics?
From an early age I knew that I wanted to make a difference in the world and help others around me. During my freshman year at Trinity University I attended my first College Democrats meeting on campus. It was inspiring to interact with other students similarly dedicated to becoming politically active and that aimed to elect democratic candidates that stood for issues essential to the betterment of society such as student loan reform and marriage equality.

Why are you a Democrat?
The greatest trait anyone can learn is empathy. The Democratic Party stands for all Americans regardless of where they come from and what they aspire to be. The Republican Party is a party of obstruction that does not stand for equality for all. One of the biggest problems with the Republican Party is that they have a lack of empathy for millions of struggling Americans. I know I'm a member of the party that stands up for what I believe in and actively works to make life better for all Americans.

Why should young people become involved in politics?
Young people will always be our society's source of social change. We are the generation that through political involvement has the opportunity to advocate for the causes that we personally care about. Political participation is the avenue through which we have the ability to make real change and the Democratic Party provides us with several opportunities to do just that. Young people represent one of the largest voting blocks in the country. Collectively, the youth in America bring a high level of passion to any effort which helps shape the dialogue of the party. The youth vote is a symbol of the force that young people represent in the political system. I firmly believe that millennials represent a powerful voting group that will continue to positively and substantially influence the future.

Young people have been among the biggest supporters of social issues in the Democratic Party for many generations. During the Civil Rights movement young people were on the front lines standing up for equality. Today the battle still continues to advance other social issues affecting Americans today such as marriage equality and combating poverty. I am confident young people will always step up and lead the nation towards achieving great progress.

What does Black History Month mean to you?
Black History month is a month in which I celebrate the perseverance, triumphs and struggles of my people. It is a month that is meant to honor the important figures that paved the way for me and that has inspired me to pay it forward by helping pave the way for people following in my footsteps. The moments of reflection associated with the month makes it possible for me to become even more aware of my inspiring heritage.

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