Emerson students are on the campaign trail

by Isabelle Lichtenstein / Beacon Correspondent • January 20, 2016

Jackson Davis holding a microphone for Bernie Sanders.
Courtesy of Jackson Davis
Jackson Davis holding a microphone for Bernie Sanders.
Courtesy of Jackson Davis

Emerson’s Jackson Davis was one of five people with Bernie Sanders yesterday when his brand new, campaign-clad bus broke down in Iowa snow. The senator and his two advisors scooped another ride, but the vehicle had to run again before Davis’ team could film the event.

Sanders is one of three candidates running for the Democratic nomination for president, and according to a CBS News/New York Times Poll for the Democratic nomination, 41 percent of the party’s primary voters support Sanders, compared to Clinton’s 48 percent. With the advent of election year, opportunities for students to be politically engaged are rife, and a number of students chose to support the Sanders campaign.

Junior visual and media arts major Davis is one of those students. He’s taking a semester off to work for Revolution Messaging, a political-leaning digital agency hired by the Sanders’ campaign he said.

“I’m national staff,” Davis said. “I basically go wherever Bernie goes with a camera and with two other people on my team.”

Davis said his job is mostly packaging for social media, including editing footage to post on Sanders’ Youtube page. His position requires a lot of production with quick turnaround, but he said he’s excited to work with the campaign because Sanders’ message resonates with him.

Elliot Friar, a senior marketing communication major, said he got involved as a volunteer this semester for Sanders’ campaign and works on weekends.

“I travel from Boston to New Hampshire to take part in campaign events, go door to door, and call voters convincing them to support Bernie in the primary,” Friar said.

Davis said he supports the Vermont senator because he can tell that he means what he says and intends to put his ideas in action. Since working up close with Sanders, Davis said he was happy to see there was no false authenticity.

“Whenever I’m drawn to someone, it’s usually because I think they’re entirely authentic,” Davis said. “I think it’s kind of in my nature to get drawn towards [this trait]. You know, authenticity in politicians isn’t a very common trait, so to see someone who has literally been on the right side of history his entire life, and is true to his values [is something I look for].”

While agreeing with Davis, Friar said he also supports Sanders because he believes the candidate has a firm grasp of the duties that the president must ultimately perform.

“He has a deep understanding of the function of the office of president of the United States: To work for the people; not for corporate entities or political points, [but] as a true representative of the many identities our country includes,” Friar said.

The opportunity to meet other passionate voters is his favorite part of his work, but Friar said all aspects of his volunteering effort have been rewarding.

Davis, who’s been working on the campaign for about a month, said he’s most looking forward to the primaries and debates to come.

“Just being in the middle of this crazy political revolution and getting to film it and learning from the rest of my team,” Davis said. “It’s insane.”