(Source: Marcus Stevenson)
Marcus Stevenson, current Weber State University student, never paid much attention to politics until he had to write a paper on the presidential election between Barack Obama and John McCain.
Following the election sparked an interest in Stevenson, and he began getting involved with political clubs and volunteering with political groups.
His interest in politics and desire to make a difference has come to fruition this year with his election as secretary of the Utah Democratic Party in June.
“I always wanted to help people, but I never really knew how or what to do,” Stevenson said. “I didn’t think I had a chance of winning.”
Running for secretary was not Stevenson’s first experience with the Utah Democratic Party. As a senior in high school, Stevenson received an internship to work with the party and was able to see how it operated at a state level.
“The state party does a lot of great things, but there are also a lot of things that they don’t do very well,” he said. “I had ideas on how to do that, and I thought there were ways that I could (help) improve.”
Stevenson founded the Davis County Young Democrats Club. Despite his best efforts, he felt that they were being mostly ignored by the people in the county, due to the high population of Republicans. Stevenson said that he had tried to go out and figure out ways for Democrats to gain more support in the county, but he soon realized he needed more than just research to make a difference.
“I thought in the end it’s all not really going to matter. I could go out and find all this information, but then where do I take it?,” Stevenson said. “I didn’t have any name behind me, not a whole lot of credibility that if I went and sat down with someone, they would listen to me, take me seriously and actually think I knew what I was talking about.”
Stevenson realized he would have to do something to gain credibility to get the attention of people in the Democratic Party, and after reaching out to a friend, Stevenson decided to run for secretary of the Utah Democratic Party State Executive Committee.
“I filed about two hours before (registration for candidacy) was going to close, and I was told you probably won’t have much of a chance (because) people who were very involved—big names—run for these positions, but I still decided to go for it,” Stevenson said. “I had no idea what I was getting myself into, but I’m very happy I threw myself in.”
Looking forward, Stevenson knows that he wants to continue to do the same work he’s doing now and make a difference in Utah.
“I would love to (continue to) work with the state democratic party as well,” he said. “I think we have a lot of work to do, and I would love to see Utah change.”