Payton W.

Payton W.

Centrist Project Founding Member
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TELL US ABOUT YOURSELF.

I am 20 years old, grew up in CT then moved out to CO about four years ago. I am currently a senior at the University of Colorado, Boulder studying Economics and Political Science. I have been enamored with public service from an early age, and recently had the pleasure to start working with the Centrist Project and work towards creating real change in our electoral system. 

 

WHAT DOES BEING A "CENTRIST" MEAN TO YOU, AND WHY DID YOU GET INVOLVED?

For me, being a centrist stands for a return to normalcy. Over the past few decades, the two-party system has highjacked issues and created an artificial divide in this country. Common sense legislation is viewed as a weakness to be exploited by the other party. Because of this, political dialogue between normal people has devolved into a screaming match over party affiliation and not real ideas. I believe the Centrist Project can start healing these wounds. The people of this country are ready to see our leaders making real progress toward a less contentious political system. I myself am working so that when politicians reach across the aisle, it is applauded and not scorned. There is no weakness in compromise, in fact it is the fuel for which government runs. 

WHAT IS A POLICY ISSUE YOU ARE PASSIONATE ABOUT AND WHY?

No elected official should feel secure in their seat, but gerrymandering and “first past the post” voting have established a wholly biased system. Legislation such as ranked voting and independent commissions organizing voting districts should be viewed as essential to creating competition, but legislators who are bound to the well-being of their party not their country view these reforms as a threat. 

HOW DO YOU THINK WE CAN UNITE OUR COUNTRY AND FIX POLITICS?

There should be no room for selfishness in politics. Public service is exactly that -- a service -- and politicians should be held accountable to the people in their district, state, and country. At the same time, reliving the venom in politics will create a dialogue that this country deserves. As a nation, we shouldn’t view a conversation about political issues as taboo. Most people are afraid to talk to their neighbor about issues that directly affect each of us. This only creates a distance from the political process for a large portion of the voting population. A informed and engaged populace is the dream that a centrist hopes to create.