Ivy Smith: Young Dem of the Week

Each week, IDYD will spotlight an outstanding Idaho Young Dem. Our mission is to highlight the hard work of Young Dems around the state, and share their stories. Want to nominate someone for Young Dem of the Week? Click here.

Our first Young Dem of the Week of 2019 is Ivy Smith. Ivy is a 20 year old Boise State student, and Vice President of the Boise State Young Democrats. She works for the Boise State Computer Science Department, and is interning for the Idaho Democratic Legislative Caucus during the 2019 Legislative Session.

IDYD: What made you want to get involved in politics? What was your first political experience like?
Ivy: I think I discovered my love for politics in my government class in high school. I found that I really liked talking about social issues but most of my peers didn’t and alienated me for it. This was very discouraging but my government teacher pulled me aside after class one day and told me that I shouldn’t care about the opinions of sheep and told me it was important for me to share my opinion. After this, I decided to begin advocating for local foster youth. One of my first big experiences in politics is when I went to Washington D.C. and was part of a rally for foster youth rights. After the rally, I spoke with Representatives about issues with the foster care system, such as housing and sibling’s rights.

IDYD: What is one thing you were surprised to learn when you first got involved?
Ivy: I thought it was going to be really hard and take a long time for me to be able to step into a leadership position. I believed that I was going to have to ‘wait my turn’ to be able to get involved like that and I was glad to find out I was wrong.

IDYD: Who is your greatest political inspiration? Why?
Ivy: Locally my biggest political inspiration is Representative Melissa Wintrow.  I think she is so inspirational because of all her work towards encouraging women in leadership as well as being an advocate for victims of sexual assault. I also look up to her because even though she is a Democrat in a very Republican state, she gains a lot of support by being able to help people see issues in a more bipartisan way.

IDYD: What words of wisdom would you share with young people around the state?
Ivy: I would say that I know politics can feel pretty intimidating when you are first getting involved but as a young person raising your voice has a huge impact.

IDYD: What issues are you most passionate about?
Ivy: I am very passionate about stopping the changes to environmental policies under the Trump Administration. As a board member of the Idaho Foster Youth Advisory Board, I am also very invested in advocating for foster youth rights, and victims of abuse.

IDYD: Politically, what would you like to see happen in Idaho this year?
Ivy: I would really like to see how the legislature is planning on implementing  Medicaid expansion.

Thank you, Ivy, for all your hard work! To nominate somebody for Young Dem of the Week, click here.