Our Citizenship Tour students had their first full day of conversations today, speaking with BallotReady co-founder and COO Aviva Rosman and National Editor at The Atlantic Scott Stossel.
BallotReady makes it easy for voters to make informed choices on the entire ballot by providing background information on candidates and referenda and comparing candidates’ stances on important issues. Before starting BallotReady, Aviva was a Teach for America corps member, worked in campaigns, and ran for local office herself. Aviva spoke to our students about BallotReady’s commitment to “making sure democracy works the way it’s supposed to.” Our Tour students asked Aviva questions about voter suppression and turnout, the influence of social media on elections, and how to become an informed first-time voter. “Don’t let your voice be silenced,” Aviva told the group.
Following the talk with Aviva, students spoke with Scott Stossel, National Editor at The Atlantic and author. A squash player himself, Scott first became acquainted with our network while living in Boston during the early days of SquashBusters. Scott spoke about his years of experience as a writer and editor at The Atlantic, The American Prospect, and his two books Sarge: The Life and Times of Sargent Shriver and My Age of Anxiety: Fear, Hope, Dread, and the Search for Peace of Mind. When reflecting on his journalism career, Scott spoke of the importance of having a “set of commonly understood facts.” He also touched on the challenges journalists and publications currently face when deciding what viewpoints to publish.