Meet Shermese, a Field Representative, who is engaging voters in Richmond, Virginia ahead of the November election!
Q: Tell me a little bit about yourself and where you’re from.
I’m from Richmond, Virginia. I graduated from Old Dominion University in 2014 with a B.S. in Biology. Then in 2017, I received my Masters Degree in Criminal Justice/ Public Administration from Liberty University. In between school, I did some campaigning here and there.
Q: What specifically about PTP appealed to you?
I wanted a neutral experience in politics. I wanted to be able to talk to anybody and everybody and not have a candidate bias.
When we’re out there talking to voters, my first impression was we were trying to get people to vote and that’s exactly what we’re doing. I really appreciate that and think that it’s super important. When talking to voters at the doors, I come across quite a few people who acknowledge the importance of the work we’re doing. They encourage me to keep on going and thank me for the work I’m doing. That right there really makes you feel good and love your job.
Q: What was the most memorable experience you had while working in politics?
I would say the time that has really left an impact on me was when I interned in the Virginia General Assembly. It was my first time being exposed to politics, and just being there to see government in action was pretty cool. One of the best parts was watching the State of the Commonwealth address at a relatively young age. It was an eye-opening experience that definitely sparked my interest for a future in politics.
Q: What do you like most about working as Field Representative?
I like that we’re actually on the ground and that grassroots energy you feel from being out there. The one-on-one communication you get with real people is the most rewarding part of the job. Because of the work we do, we’re able to get a better sense of what people are thinking and what they care about out. That’s important especially in politics-for us to get feedback, real life feedback.
Q: Who inspires you in politics and why?
The person whose inspired me is Mr. Douglas Wilder, the first black Governor of Virginia. I was exposed to him when I went to his school, graduated from the Minority Political Leadership Institute.
After reading his book, Son of Virginia, I understand where he came from and was able to relate as my family came from similar places. I really admire the way he was able to connect with people of all different classes and races. Douglas Wilder really stood up for what he believed in throughout his entire career. That’s one of the things I look up to-standing firm in your beliefs while being receptive of others’ ideas, engaging with people, all while maintaining influence.
Q: Other than voting, what is one of the the issues that you’re interested in?
Education means a lot to me. I’m very passionate about children learning anything and everything that’s possible. The more they know the more they will be uplifted, become better citizens and more engaged within our communities. Our children need to be learning what our communities need to thrive and survive.
I think our teachers do an amazing job and parents today are a product of our quality public school systems. I’m not a fan of charter or private schools but everyone does have the right to choose whatever education they want. Personally, I feel our public education system here in America is a jewel. We need to take care of it and continue to make it a priority, otherwise we are doomed in our future.
Q: If you could have dinner with one former President, who would it be and why?
Abraham Lincoln. I have a lot of questions for him- I think he’s a good man who did good things! The way history is written, I want some clarification on his motives and why he did some of the things he did.
Q: If you could pass one law, what would it be and why?
If I could pass one law, I would make it so everyone would have shelter. Everyone should have a roof over their head and access to food and healthcare, no matter what.
Q: What do you like to do in your freetime?
I love exploring the city-from going to the river with friends to trying out new restaurants. Richmond has a lot to offer. I also enjoy spending time with my family. I’m lucky to be in such close proximity to them and being able to go down the street and hang out with my cousins.