As the 2014 election cycle ramps up, Nora Howe ’14 is right in the middle of the action. As of June 1, Howe began work as a field organizer with the Iowa Democratic Party Coordinated Campaign. The position will last only through the elections this November, but in that time Howe expects to work twelve hours a day, seven days a week. “I’m excited to work in Iowa because it’s a very important state politically,” says Howe. “It’s the first caucus during the Presidential primaries and is a swing state. Even more than that, all the people I’ve met here are really nice, welcoming, and politically knowledgeable!”
A sociology major while at Haverford, Howe spent her time in class discussing concepts like economic and social inequality, which she says are critical to her role as a coordinator within a specific community. She also served as co-president of the Haverford College Democrats, which involved campaigning for President Barack Obama’s re-election in 2012. In this role, Howe says, she learned firsthand about the demands of a campaign, and she got hooked.
Howe is tasked with opening and running a field office in Marshalltown, Iowa, which involves building local support networks of recruited volunteers, political organizations, donors, stakeholders, and voters. The aim of the Coordinated Campaign is to elect Democrats across the Iowa ballot in November, including Representative Bruce Braley, who is seeking to fill Democrat Tom Harkin’s vacated seat in the U.S. Senate.
The community of Marshalltown is particularly engaging for Howe, due to its large (upwards of 25%) minority population of Latino voters. “It’s exciting to be working in a diverse community and get the opportunity to include people in the political process who have been the targets of the voter suppression laws,” says Howe. “Working here makes me very glad that I took Spanish my senior year, because I’m really putting it to use!”
—Kelsey Ryan ’14
“Where They’re Headed” is a blog series reporting on the post-Haverford plans of members of the Class of 2014.