Claire Vaage, 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 Young Dem of the Week for the week of February 25 is Claire Vaage. Claire is from Boise, Idaho, and attended Centennial High School. She is currently a first-year student at Boise State and is pursuing degrees in Environmental Studies and Political Science. Claire is a part of various campus organizations, such as the Boise State Young Democrats, Younglife, and the Honors College Council. She work at the Cycle Learning Center bike shop on the Boise State University campus.

IDYD: What made you want to get involved in politics? What was your first political experience like?
Claire: I got involved in the world of politics during the beginning of high school. It was as I began getting more involved in my passion of conservation as well as clubs at Centennial High School. I took part in Youth in Government and had to opportunity to act as a lobbyist and representative in our yearly mock legislative session at the Idaho Capitol. I have also been active in speaking at hearings such as the revision of the Idaho State science standards and Ready for 100. All those initial experiences have confirmed my passion for activism and action in the political world—especially for conservation.

IDYD: What is one thing you were surprised to learn when you first got involved?
Claire: Though I had a general idea beforehand of the complexity of government, once I actually became sincerely involved, I learned the true scope of how complicated it all is. There are loopholes everywhere, strategical actions, and so on everyone is aiming to manipulate in their/their party favor. It is truly spectacular.

IDYD: Who is your greatest political inspiration? Why?
Claire: Obviously, I cannot not mention Barack Obama. He was a huge factor in the start of my involvement in politics and instilled such motivation in my generation, leaving and continuing to leave a lasting legacy. Also, Justice Ginsberg—her resilience is uncanny and motivates me to accomplish what I am after without any sort of doubt.

IDYD: What words of wisdom would you share with young people around the state?
Claire: Do not have any shame in owning your political views. We all have morals and standards by which we chose to live for various reasons—it is up to you to act on them and find a way to co-exist with others in a respectful and productive way. Find what you are passionate about and make your indelible mark.

IDYD: What issues are you most passionate about?
Claire: Like I said prior, my main drive in politics is conservation of the environment and natural resources. I grew up in this wonderful state with so much of that to offer from recreation to the abundance of public lands and it is necessary to act for something that cannot defend itself. I work for Idaho Fish and Game as well and know first-hand the issues that are abundant in this state from wildlife to rangeland management and beyond. The kind of action that can be done in the realm of politics is something I hope to tackle in my future career.

IDYD: Politically, what would you like to see happen in Idaho this year?
Claire: I was ecstatic for proposition 2 to pass, so I am anxious to see how that pans out and am hoping for utmost success. I also hope substantial progress can be made in the education of our state.

IDYD: It’s still early, but do you have anyone you’d like to run for President in 2020?
Claire: It would be phenomenal for Joe Biden to run. With his experience and popularity, he’d be a strong democratic nominee to say the least. I don’t have too many opinions yet, as it seems to be a wild number and selection of candidates putting in for it…so we will see what happens!

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

Admin Idaho Young Democrats