Young Dem of the Week Ashley Prince

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 March 24 is Ashley Prince. Ashley grew up in Shelley, Idaho and moved to Boise in 2010 to attend BSU. She is 26 years old, and currently involved with Reclaim Idaho, the group that spearheaded the petition drive to get Medicaid Expansion on the ballot. Ashley currently serves as the Field Director for Reclaim Idaho.

IDYD: What made you want to get involved in politics? What was your first political experience like?
Ashley: I’ve always been interested in politics and received my BA in Political Science at BSU. My original emphasis was international relations and comparative politics; however, as national, state, and local politics has progressed in the last 10 years I slowly directed my energy to Idaho. I would say that my first real political experience was the Boise Bernie Rally in 2016. I had always observed politics from afar and that was the first time attending something I truly cared about. The first time I chose to ACTUALLY do more than just rally was for the petition drive to collect signatures for Medicaid Expansion. It has been an amazing experience to get involved and truly organize for something that would save thousands of lives and create better economic conditions for our communities.

IDYD: What is one thing you were surprised to learn when you first got involved?
Ashley: Just showing up is 90% of your success. It is so easy to say you will attend something and get involved but then not show up. We do it all the time for social events so why not political events? If you can figure out how to motivate yourself to show up every time there is need, you will be successful in your involvement.

IDYD: Who is your greatest political inspiration? Why?
Ashley: Honestly, volunteers. It is so easy to place one person up on a pedestal and highlight all their accomplishments, but we would never be where we are without the amazing people willing to sacrifice hundreds of hours of their time in pursuit of making our communities better. I aspire to be like our Reclaim volunteers every day.

IDYD: What words of wisdom would you share with young people around the state?
Ashley: Take a shot every time someone over 50 says “The young people will save us.” If you are under 21 and cannot legally drink, scream into the void.

IDYD: What issues are you most passionate about?
Ashley: The pursuit of working people running both the economy and society democratically to meet human needs, not to make profits for a few. Health Justice, Housing Justice, and holding our elected representatives accountable.

IDYD: Politically, what would you like to see happen in Idaho this year?
Ashley: If you had asked me this question a month ago I would have said “Leading a conversation in our communities about education.” After this latest legislative session, I would like to see engagement in our communities to hold elected representatives accountable to the people. You can’t cure cancer with a band aid and we won’t change Idaho politics to be better aligned with the issues people care about until accountability is truly realized.  

IDYD: It’s still early, but do you have anyone you’d like to run for President in 2020?
Ashley: I honestly believe that in a state like Idaho, any organizing effort into a presidential candidate is time that could be used to better our communities. I will not be actively advocating for any particular candidate locally; however, I will cast my ballot for the only candidate that has been able to successfully push the needle left, has the national organizing infrastructure to beat Trump, and has a talented and diverse team: Bernard Sanders

IDYD: Are there any other comments you would like to make?
Ashley: I’m helping organize an event with the local chapter of the Democratic Socialists of America. We are hosting Tim Faust, a national single payer advocate, on April 5th at Lost Grove Brewing at 7:30pm. All ages welcome. Faust does an excellent job exploring the need for Single Payer healthcare in America. Since Medicare for All will be a central issue for Democratic presidential candidates to define on a national scale this promises to be a fun and educational event. I would love to see IDYD members attend. Click here for event info.

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