During the four years he spent at Haverford, political science major Josh Fried ’18 didn’t limit his political activity to the classroom alone: A co-head of the Haverford College Democrats, he also won two of the Center for Career and Professional Advising‘s Liberal Arts in the Workplace grants to intern at congressional offices in the Washington, D.C., metro area. It should come as no surprise, then, that Fried’s pursuing politics beyond college—for now, as a field organizer for the Pennsylvania Democrats supporting congressional hopeful Chrissy Houlahan, who is running to represent Pennsylvania’s 6th District.
“As a field organizer,” Fried says, “I am devoting my passion to politics and am helping to elect a candidate that stands for the progressive values that [I] and many others care about. As a political science major, I wanted to be able to have an opportunity where I was actively helping someone get elected to Congress who could change the way Washington works and end the bickering partisanship that is currently occurring.”
Fried’s days, which typically run from 11 a.m. to 8 p.m., are long but fulfilling. He and his fellow organizers begin each morning with a brief strategy session.
“Most often, that’ll take the form of a Google Hangout,” Fried, who works from the Berwyn, Pa., campaign offices a few miles from Haverford’s campus, says. “We go over the highs and lows of the previous day, what we plan on doing today, and we go over any questions that we might have for the week.”
Around noon, Fried meets the gaggle of college-aged interns he oversees to canvass locally—knocking on doors, handing out flyers, walking residents through the voter registration process. At five, he heads back into the office to phone-bank for a couple of hours. A genuine “people person,” and someone who honestly believes in the sanctity of the democratic process, this is his favorite part of his work.
“I love connecting with people, and doing fieldwork gives me the opportunity to do so,” Fried says. “This campaign has provided me a wonderful opportunity to participate in civic engagement. I have talked to countless residents of the district who said before 2016 that they normally would have just voted, but now they feel compelled to get involved because they are deeply distraught with the direction of the country. It gives me great fulfillment that I am engaging citizens because voting is a very powerful tool.”
Though Fried is enjoying this work, he has his sights set on bigger and better things—namely, possibly running for office himself one day.
“As someone who is interested in policy and has interned on Capitol Hill, I am very much interested in returning there after this campaign,” he says. “I am hopeful that this campaign opportunity will open up other opportunities for my political career.”
“Where They’re Headed” is a blog series reporting on the post-collegiate plans of recent Haverford graduates.
Photo: Josh Fried ’18 strategizes with fellow members of Democrat Chrissy Houlahan’s congressional campaign. Photo courtesy of Josh Fried ’18.