by Sam Senini
After spending a morning watching re-runs of Parks & Recreation on Netflix, it was refreshing to meet with a young women involved in local government as down-to earth and un-Leslie Knope like as Tara Ready.
Ready, 22, an NYU senior studying at the Silver School of Social Work got involved in student politics because of her strong desire to help improve the lives of her peers at the Silver school who’s issues she feels are underrepresented in the NYU community. What really inspired her to run for a position on the Student Senate, was inspiration from her predecessor, _(name of girl)__ a positive female role model who worked to get funding and programs approved to aid students whose academic experience studying social work are much different those of students at the other NYU colleges. “many spend their junior and senior years of campus working on hands-on projects, and have to travel around the city which can be very expensive,” says Ready. Once she was elected she was quick to carry out her predecessor’s proposal to get subsidized metro cards for eligible students in need of financial aid.
While unfortunately this bill did not pass through the hierarchy of the staff approval committees, she squick to note that NYU’s alternate solution of providing more free shuttle services to students ended up being more costly to the University than the subsidized Metro Card plan. This however is no deterrent to Ready who was quick to pull out of a highly annotated personal copy of her and her fellow senator’s new “Affordable Task Force Steering Committee” proposal. At the heart of all her work is a (quote about what she likes about student government.)
The upcoming presidential election stand is stark contrast to her experience running for student senate. Ready says the way Trump and Hillary treat each other “shocking disrespectful” and “you can see how they rant and aren’t actually listening to each other in debates. They are just trying to formulate their next response.” In regards to Trump’s comment in the final debate calling Hillary a “nasty woman” not once but twice, Ready says it is (insert quote from tape) and she appreciates how lucky she is to “work in an environment where everyone truly try their best to listen to the ideas of on another.” Ready is poised to vote for Clinton come election day November 6th, but concedes that Hillary wouldn’t be her first choice for president either. “I hate Donald Trump. He is ignorant and his views are simple minded and don’t touch on American issues as deep as they truly go.” While Trump has said he will “leave us in suspense” about whether he will except the results of the election (assuming the Hillary has won based on all major polls), defying one of the cornerstones of America’s democratic traditions, Ready says the U.S. government could take a note from the student government she works with and practice a bit of open-mindedness and empathy. “The best kind of compromise is when both parties feel a little bit uncomfortable and less like victors of a competition.”
While she retains more liberally oriented political viewpoint Ready considers herself an Independent and dislikes the two party system in America that creates such partisan disputes throughout the country. Running against two other Silver students for the school’s representative position, she admits that she ”admired the values of both the other candidates.” I would have been ok with the other had they won the election. However, finding the campaign process both “nerve racking and very exciting,” she was honored to have won the election. “I just hoped I would get to be a part of the process, and now I am.”
As the time for Ready to leave our interview to attend her Student Senate meeting, I ask if she foreseeing pursuing politics in her future. “It is defiantly not out of the question. Politics may defiantly be in my future, hopefully when I am more experienced.” As for a young woman growing up in New York, Ready says she is grateful that she has never felt any discrimination based on her gender or ethnicity as the first generation American daughter of Latin American parents. Nonetheless “It would be exciting to see Hillary become the first female president. it was clear that politics were becoming much more diverse when Obama won the election in 2008, and since then women from both parties have run for president. But it is exciting to see if she starts a motion where women will not only run, but win.”