Cape Ann teens serve as Democracy Summer Fellows

  • Oops!
    Something went wrong.
    Please try again later.
  • Oops!
    Something went wrong.
    Please try again later.
·3 min read
In this article:
  • Oops!
    Something went wrong.
    Please try again later.
  • Oops!
    Something went wrong.
    Please try again later.

Jul. 15—Gloucester High School student Haven Doud is spending his summer break working on the campaign of U.S. Rep. Seth Moulton, D-Salem, honing his political organizing skills toward becoming a next-generation leader as a Democracy Summer Fellow.

Doud, 15, an incoming sophomore, is taking part in a six-week fellowship that runs through July 31.

The same can be said for Caroline MacKinnon, a 16-year-old incoming senior at Manchester Essex Regional High who learned about Democracy Summer through Moulton's campaign after collecting signatures for his nomination papers for re-election this spring.

"I've always been passionate about politics," said MacKinnon, who recalled marching for women's rights during the 2016 election when she was just 11.

The Democracy Summer project was founded by U.S. Rep. Jamie Raskin, D-Maryland, to teach high school and college students how to be leaders and political organizers. Fellows work on Democratic House campaigns all over the country and participate in a virtual summer learning program.

"The Democracy Summer fellowship program will train the next generation of Democratic organizers to make an impact in the 6th District — and beyond — for decades to come," Moulton said in a prepared statement. "I'm proud to be involved in preparing them for the critical role they'll play in shaping our future."

Moulton for Congress campaign manager Matt Chilliak said Democracy Summer was started by Raskin in 2020 and went nationwide last year in partnership with the Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee, a political committee that supports House Democratic candidates.

More than 60 other campaigns and 400 fellows nationwide are taking part in the project, Chilliak said. Doud and MacKinnon are among several students who are part of the program with Moulton's campaign this summer, including students from Hingham, Lexington, Belmont, Boston and Newton.

"Haven came to us with glowing recommendations from his involvement with the Gloucester Democratic City Committee as well, which is a group he has been very active with, too," Chilliak said. Doud said he wants to build his experience working with voters, and improve his communications and political organizing skills.

When the 15-year-old was asked why he was so interested in politics at a relatively young age, Doud said his family has always been politically aware and are Democrats, but he did not connect with politics until the 2020 election between former President Donald Trump and President Joe Biden.

"That ignited me and made me realize just how important politics is in this country," Doud said.

When asked if he wanted to pursue his interest in politics, Doud said, "I want this to be my career." He likes the competitive aspect of politics with its ability to affect change.

Doud is also interested in running, but not just for office. He loves running and at Gloucester High he was on the cross country and indoor track teams and he's on the outdoor track team, he said.

MacKinnon, who also runs track for Gloucester High, said of Democracy Summer, "being involved directly feeds into the passion that I have."

The program, she said, involves two days of service with the campaign and two days of webinars learning about "how to change what needs to change" and the history of civil rights movements.

As part of their community service outreach, MacKinnon came up with the idea of a food drive for The Open Door food pantry based in Gloucester. She and Doud were at Market Basket at Gloucester Crossing on Thursday afternoon collecting donations of nonperishable groceries.