This blog post was written by Shira N., a member of Tivnu’s 9th cohort. She interns at Big Brothers Big Sisters and Tivnu construction. Shira is from Chicago, IL, and will be a freshman at the University of Denver next year. She enjoys dogs, art, and hanging out with friends.
Being on Tivnu is a fantastic experience with many learning opportunities. In addition to things like tool training at construction and cooking tips for communal meals, I was fortunate enough to vote for the first time during Tivnu. A fellow Tivnunik, Sasha, encouraged people to register to vote anywhere we were from, but especially in Oregon, where we live now. This election season, Oregon had a particularly tight race because there were many important ballot measures and a possibility of the governor of Oregon switching parties. Sasha helped by providing resources and instructions on how to register to vote.
During an Educational Exploration, we all volunteered at phone and texting banks for different statewide ballot measures, including ballot measures 114, 112, and 111. Ballot measure 114 requires a limit on ammunition magazines and stricter permitting procedures. Ballot measure 112 removes offensive language around slavery as punishment in the Oregon constitution. Ballot measure 111 requires Oregon to provide healthcare for all Oregon residents.
I had reservations about voting in a place where I’m not from. Still, learning about these ballot measures and phone banking made me feel very connected and more informed about the local politics and more comfortable with my newness to Portland. Tivnu’s mission is heavily connected to political engagement, especially in relation to community involvement. Through working at different construction sites and working in different neighborhoods, I feel I have gained a stronger understanding and connection to Portland and the communities that live here. I also had support from my RA, Danielle, with filling out the ballot and going through terms and candidates.
My experience working in neighborhoods all over Portland, support from the RAs and fellow Tivnuniks, and working hands-on with different ballot measures allowed me to be fully immersed in the voting process. This made me feel confident and engaged in the election, easing my concerns about voting in a place I was so new to.