Paul Sullivan

Paul Sullivan 1

Summary

My name is Paul Sullivan. I am a current undergraduate student at George Mason University majoring in Government and International Politics with a minor in Intelligence Studies. I am currently a Global Politics Fellow, and I am completing an internship with Democracy onAir for the Spring 2022 period.

I am interning with Democracy onAir because I want to develop my interests in politics and international relations into the media space. Further, I would like to support others in broadening their understanding of U.S. Federal, State, and Local institutions so as to make the public into better citizens and improve the health of democracy globally.

News

i
How would I improve U.S. Democracy
Other, Paul SullivanFebruary 3, 2022

I think voting is and ought to be a crucial part of the American experience. For being one of our most powerful American rights, most of the people I know don’t truly consider it a right. Food, water, shelter – those are rights. Voting? Well, that’s ‘special’. It’s a civic duty! It’s so important you only need to participate ‘some of the time’. What if a politician told you that your body only needs food ‘some’ of the time? You’d be outraged! And what of the ‘body politic’?

A year ago, I was with the homeless in McPherson Square – a dozen or so blocks from the US Capitol. Now those are people whose rights were forgotten about. I heard the same sentiment echoed over-and-over: “Muriel Bowser ‘ain’t doin’ nothin’ about us.” These people can’t vote. They hardly know where their next meal is coming from. I remember a bit of wisdom of them told me:

“Do you want to know who the most popular candidate is?: Nobody. If nobody was a candidate you could vote for by not showing up, nobody would win every election.”

And what of us? With election day on a Tuesday, how can some of our poorest vote? You can’t just tell people living paycheck-to-paycheck that $40 dollars isn’t important. And that’s the problem. We ourselves – the American people – can hardly vote, most of us aren’t truly given the capacity. Once we start thinking about ‘voting’ as a fundamental right – like water – then everything else will follow: ranked choice voting, electoral college, education, workweek holiday, etc. Then we have a democracy.

i
Why Democracy Matters to Me
Other, Paul SullivanJanuary 31, 2022

I remember several months ago sitting outside an elementary school on a cold November morning. I saw a large group of people huddled together in line wanting to do one thing: make their voices heard. I was serving as an election official that morning  in my fluorescent election vest also waiting in the cold, like all those people in line. I was waiting for a car to pull up to the designated parking spot to help the disabled and elderly vote in the same election as those people in line.

I know that standing outside in below freezing temperatures at a polling location isn’t going to be the joy of everyone’s day. I know the disappointment of finding out a candidate you voted for lost in their election, but what I saw that morning shocked me: I saw peace. I saw political canvassers from across the isle – trading snacks and talking about their work yesterday. There were shipbuilders in line talking about football, and there was a mother explaining to her kids the importance of respecting people’s opinions.

It is easy to forget that even with all of democracy’s failings – peace is the norm. We think of events that of January 6th as abhorrent and rare – not the norm. My mother immigrated from the Philippines and she sometimes tells me stories about the political life she was raised in. She lived under Ferdinand Marcos from the mid-60s until the mid-80s when democratic values were fleeting. She told of Communist guerilla fighting, of Islamic insurrectionists in Mindanao, and of Marcos’ martial law. She came to the United States because she wanted peace, and for that same reason democracy matters to me.

About

Education

George Mason University: Fairfax, VA

BA: Government and International Politics Major with a concentration in IR

Intelligence Studies Minor

Expected May 2023

Skills

  • MS Office Suite Proficiency
  • Adobe Premiere & Photoshop Proficiency
  • Language Background in Latin & Mandarin
  • Work experience with R Studio

Career Experience

Election Official for the City of Virginia Beach’s 44th Electoral Precinct

  • Fall 2018 – Present

Undergraduate Research Assistant (URAP) at George Mason University

  • Spring 2021

 

Work Experience

Skate Guard, Fairfax Ice Arena

  • Sep 2021 – Present

Maintenance, Chilled Ponds

  • Jul 2021 – Aug 2021

Papers & Projects

Download (PDF, Unknown)

OnAir Activities

I am directing Outreach Efforts for US OnAir as part of my GPF internship with Democracy OnAir.

I am also directing Ohio OnAir.

Posts curating:

Issues: China & Economy
Committee: Foreign Affairs (House) & Armed Services (Senate)
VA Representative: Tim Kaine & Elaine Luria
Focus University: Ohio State University

Discuss

OnAir membership is required. The lead Moderator for the discussions is Paul Sullivan. We encourage civil, honest, and safe discourse. See Terms of Service for curation guidelines.

This is an open discussion on the contents of this post.

Home Forums Open Discussion

Viewing 0 reply threads
  • Author
    Posts
Viewing 0 reply threads
  • You must be logged in to reply to this topic.
Skip to toolbar