Maddie Curtright: YD 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 4 is Maddie Curtright. Maddie 20 years old and is originally from Eagle, but is currently in Moscow, studying Political Science at the University of Idaho. She is currently a precinct captain, the Communications Director for the Latah County Democrats, and Vice President of the University of Idaho Young Dems. Last year, Maddie managed Senator David Nelson and Commissioner Kathie LaFortune’s campaigns. Besides that, she spends most of my time studying, hanging out with my friends, and watching too much Netflix.
IDYD: What made you want to get involved in politics? What was your first political experience like?
Maddie: I’ve been interested in politics since 2008, but what made me really want to get engaged, unsurprisingly, was the 2016 election. All this political turmoil combined with the fact that I had been watching the West Wing put this idea in my head that I could create real change through a career in politics, so I switched my major to Political Science and the rest is history. My first real experience was as a campaign manager in 2018. It was exhausting, but also exhilarating and rewarding. It only confirmed that I had chosen the right path and that being in politics was totally worth it.
IDYD: What is one thing you were surprised to learn when you first got involved?
Maddie: I was surprised to find that electoral politics is a huge guessing game! You can employ data driven strategies and take advice from as many veteran politicians and politicos as you can find, but you will never be sure if what you’re doing will work. Each candidate, location, and election year are different, so you must be prepared to take things as they come and be ready to adjust even the best strategies.
IDYD: Who is your greatest political inspiration? Why?
Maddie: I’d probably say President Obama and Alexandria Ocasio Cortez. President Obama was the first political figure I really knew or cared about. He was a good leader and took everything that was thrown at him with incredible grace, dignity, and just the right amount of humor. As for AOC, it’s awesome to see a powerful young woman stand up for herself and her beliefs and refuse to back down. Women like her are changing the game and I can’t wait to see all that she does in office.
IDYD: What words of wisdom would you share with young people around the state?
Maddie: Get involved in as many ways as you can, even if you don’t think you have enough experience, or that anyone wants to hear what you have to say. Put yourself and your ideas out there, make people listen to you, and before you know it, you’ll start seeing results. There can never be too many young voices in the room!
IDYD: What issues are you most passionate about?
Maddie: Basically everything! At this moment though, climate change, education, voting rights, gun control, and foreign policy are at the top of my list.
IDYD: Politically, what would you like to see happen in Idaho this year?
Maddie: Since we all worked so hard for Medicaid Expansion, I’d really love to see that come into effect as written. Besides that, I’d love to see way more funding put into education in Idaho. Especially more funding for public universities to help them grow and thrive. The best way to improve all aspects of Idaho’s future is though quality education.
IDYD: It’s still early, but do you have anyone you’d like to run for President in 2020?
Maddie: Since I work with the party, I must remain neutral for right now regarding 2020. I will say though, that there are a lot of great choices who have declared and who still might declare, and I’m really excited to get primary season rolling and see how things turn out!
Thank you, Maddie, for all your hard work! To nominate somebody for Young Dem of the Week, click here.