Lauren Fizgerald, a junior at the State University of New York at Oswego, is dedicated to addressing systematic injustices and creating positive change, especially through grassroots organizing and voter engagement. Lauren serves as the volunteer coordinator for Vote Oswego, a nonpartisan organization that makes voter registration fun, easy, secure and encourages eligible voters to submit absentee ballots or go to the polls. In the 2018 election, Lauren recruited and managed volunteers to operate a five day voter registration blitz that registered over 1,000 students to vote. These efforts resulted in the campus voter turnout rate increasing by 300 percent. Lauren has also volunteered for two presidential campaigns, a New York State Senate campaign, and interned with two members of Congress. Beyond her personal political action, Lauren believes in building bridges and creating spaces for diverse perspectives to be heard. She is committed to everyone’s voice being heard, regardless of their identity or political party. Lauren’s dedication to civic engagement and collaboration has contributed to a more inclusive, well informed, and engaged campus community.
It has always been an important and rewarding experience for me to be involved in my surrounding community. Seeing firsthand the power of grassroots organizing is why I have chosen to pursue a career in civic engagement. In my life I have been involved with many grassroots campaigns but my favorite by far is the work I have accomplished with Vote Oswego.
Through this campaign I encouraged my peers to be involved in elections and the voting process so they can see how their voice makes a difference. In my position as the Volunteer Coordinator for Vote Oswego, I made sure all events were successfully run from reserving spaces with proper permits to properly staffing each event with educated volunteers.
At the end of our 2019 midterm campaign, SUNY Oswego student voter turnout tripled compared to the previous midterm election. My age demographic makes up the largest voting bloc in this country. If we all collectively use our voice and vote, we could help combat issues that I deeply care about like systemic racism, gender inequality, and many other social justice problems.