Alumnus’ grassroots efforts highlighted in Washington Post
October 09, 2014
In the tiny Alaskan town of Kotzebue, where 3,200 people live on a peninsula just across from Russia, Myles Creed BA ’11 is hard at work canvassing on behalf of Senator Mark Begich.
The Washington Post recently highlighted the campaign’s focus on grassroots efforts, including those of Creed, an Alaska native who works out of a makeshift headquarters in his parents’ home.
“We have politicians fly in and fly out, but we don’t have active people here,” said Siikauraq Whiting, a former Northwest Arctic Borough mayor and Begich supporter. “To have a young person like Myles here, it could make a monumental difference.”
On weekday afternoons, Creed hosts office hours, the article states. At times Creed’s bedroom turns into a call center, where staffers dial out to nearby villages for votes. The team also organizes small events where traditional foods such as muktuk (whale blubber) are served.
“This is the definition of grass roots,” Creed said. “There aren’t these data matrices. It’s just going around and talking to people about the election.”
Creed studied communication (now rhetoric and media studies) while at Lewis & Clark and, after graduation, was the recipient of a Fulbright English Teaching Assistantship in Belgium.
“Being a communication major, you learn how to talk to people from all walks of life, which is always useful in a job like this,” Creed said.
“Lewis & Clark’s international focus has defined the person I am today,” Creed continued. “As a student from a small arctic Alaskan village, I would never have thought that I would have close friends from places as far flung as Botswana, Jamaica, Holland, or Japan.”