This is one article in a two-part series profiling a day in the life of a Democrat or Republican on campus. Margarita Diaz represents a student campaigning as a Democrat.
While many students made their visits to the poll booths on Tuesday, Boston University student Margarita Diaz experienced Election Day from the lens of a campaign insider.
Diaz, a senior in the College of Arts and Sciences, has worked for Joe Kennedy III’s congressional campaign for Massachusetts’ District 4 since August. After months of hard work, she said she has fought through the exhaustion in the days leading up to election in the last stretch to get votes.
A typical day on the campaign ranges from spending several hours of phone calls with district residents, to filtering the information and updating the database, to going out on the field and retrieving more personal perspectives, Diaz said.
“The campaign is really hectic, but I’m sure we’re not the only ones feeling that way,” said Diaz. “At this point, every campaign is probably full of people running around like chickens with their heads cut off.”
Diaz works as the main link between Kennedy’s campaign and BU Democrats. Her job duties involve gathering volunteers and finding those valuable, young votes.
“There are a lot of people on campus involved, and they tend to be more issue based instead of party based,” Diaz said. “But because of the nature of our campus and how it’s built into Boston, BU students tend to find their own way to get involved, making it a lot harder for us to mobilize students compared to other universities.”
Her dedication to the campaign is clear to her supervisors and fellow members of BU Democrats, colleagues said.
“She’s not one of those kids wasting time,” said Adam Buchbinder, intern coordinator for the campaign. “She clearly cares about the campaign and has a very strong work ethic. Whenever she is not in class, she is in here, working.”
Diaz said that her work with the BU College Democrats as deputy communications director has been extensive and hopefully very productive.
“There has been a lot of worry about young people coming to vote, so all our efforts in getting the young vote could be crucial,” Diaz said. “We’ve stood outside of Warren Towers trying to convince people, and we’ve canvassed around local Mass. knocking from door to door.”
While many people tend to focus on the presidential elections and broader topics, Diaz said, voters should also consider the importance of the congressional elections and local issues that affect their neighborhoods directly.
“Why should we care about Congress?” said Diaz. “Because you’re not just voting for a candidate, you might be voting for a specific law, something that can affect your local community in a direct way.
“You have the power to choose, you should want the interests of your local community to go to Washington. It is especially important nowadays, when we have such a divided Congress.”
Diaz said her work with Kennedy’s campaign has given her an understanding of how a campaign works from top to bottom that might have been much harder to gain from a larger-scale campaign.
“Anyone who is actually interested in politics should work for a congressional campaign at some point,” she said. “You see how everyone works in every branch of the campaign. Policy, field, press … they are all there for you.”