Sarah Smith says life experience as important as political
By Nayyab Rai - Staff Reporter
Congressional hopeful Sarah Smith says that politics and government can be better.
"I believe in what we [America] are capable in," Smith said.
Smith, a candidate in the upcoming election for the Washington`s Ninth District, came onto campus on Oct. 23 to talk about her campaign.
"I never expected to go into politics. It just was not in the plan," Smith said.
"But, there are just too many problems going around and I figured that I be a part of the solution," Smith said.
Corruption is a huge issue within the government, she said.
"Right now, I am the only candidate running in the race with no corporate money, so that is just a really nice way of saying that my campaign is really poor," Smith said.
"I don't take money from deep-pocketed owners, I don't take money from anyone but the people," Smith said. "We are 100 percent equal funded and we broke the thousand dollars' donation, which is unheard of."
The campaign goes above and beyond to make sure that everything that happens is completely and utterly ethical, she said. "It does make me face some disadvantages, but doing things the right way makes it all worth it," Smith said.
Demilitarization of the police is another thing Smith promotes.
"When we look at our police force, they are supposed to be peace-keeping officers. However, with private corporations creating more military-grade weaponry, and our government buying those weapons, our police basically has the means to wage war on the people they are supposed to protect," Smith said.
All that does with the relationship between citizens and the police force is strain. Citizens will have a difficult time trusting cops and that makes it extremely dangerous for everyone, she said.
"We are not fostering community trust. And what that means is that there is a resistance to involving the police, in trusting them with our problems," Smith said.
And because there is distrust in the police, it leads to mass incarcerations, she said.
"Mass incarceration largely exists because we have a for- profit prison system. It means that someone is trying to make money off of people somewhere," Smith said.
"The easiest way to [do] that is consistently incarcerate people for victimless crimes," she said. "I believe in a justice system where we help rehabilitate people rather than let them rot."
"I am also in favor in protecting sex-workers. We should not be arresting people for consensual sex," she said.
The only thing that arresting these people do is fostering distrust between the police and the citizens, she said.
Smith is 30 years old and this is her first time running for office.
"I have been asked so many times if I was worried about my competitors because they have so much more experience than I do. The answer is no," Smith said.
"While legislative experience is very important, practically everyone there will have experience in that. What I have is life experience," Smith said.
"I grew up in post-recession America, I know what it is like to suffer under the economy and how to fight against it," she said.
"You cannot devalue life experience. Anyone can pick up a pen and paper and write up something real quick, but you also need to learn how to adapt and change according to the situation," Smith said.
"I was told that I am not worthy, that I will not succeed. I am here to tell you something that I wish someone told me: you are worthy, you can succeed. The only thing that is stopping you is you," Smith said. "Fight for what you believe in and never stop."
For more information on Smith's campaign, visit votesarahsmith.com