Originally published at https://www.adamteuscher.com/writing/looking-forward on April 8, 2023
How did I get involved in Forward?
I once told my high school history teacher that if I ever ran for office, I couldn't in good conscience do so as a Democrat. I simply disagreed with too many of their positions at the time. That left my only options as Republican or Independent. Funnily enough, I've moved leftward since then, and would probably tilt towards being a moderate Democrat nowadays, given the alarming trends in the Republican party. That being said, teenage me didn't anticipate another option: building our own party of political outcasts.
It all started for me in the summer of 2019 in Scarsdale, NY. My brother told me to watch a video of Andrew Yang being interviewed by Ben Shapiro (not someone I usually watched). I was instantly hooked. Here was a guy with innovative, outside-the-box solutions that was running as a Democrat but didn't rub me the wrong way as many other Democrats did. I donated and followed his campaign very closely. It helped revive my interest in UBI, which I had given a short research presentation on during college back in 2016. I was very sad the day Andrew called it quits, but wanted to follow the movement nonetheless. I even volunteered briefly for his NYC mayoral campaign in 2021 handing out fliers in Flushing.
When the Forward Party got announced, I was really interested, but skeptical that it could go anywhere. After spending some time volunteering for Utah Approves over the summer of 2022 and reflecting a bit more, I decided to get a bit more involved. I started to realize that the "but this is the most important election in our lifetime!" or "Democracy is on the line!" were gonna keep happening every election. And while the Republican party is pretty bad, Democrats have their fair share of anti-democratic moments too (especially when it comes to working hard to keep third parties off the ballot). Thus, if we had an opportunity to try something else, why not go for it? That's my mindset. Volunteering for Ladd Johnson and Evan McMullin's campaigns was fun and insightful for understanding what challenges independent and third-party candidates face. In December of last year I was invited to be a co-lead for Forward in Utah, just in time to start our signature gathering efforts.
Now we're ramping up our volunteer efforts and trying to get more than 2000 signatures from registered voters in Utah so we can become an official party and get ballot access for next year. Want to get involved? Sign up on our website and check out the resources we have available.
Where do I hope to see the party go? I've kind of decided that even if Forward accomplishes nothing more than election reform, I'd still consider that a win. We might not be able to do much more than bringing attention to it since Utah is already a one-party state, but I think it's possible to bring it into the conversation and set the stage for some interesting decades ahead. I'd like us to explore some other issues surrounding air and water, potentially promoting nuclear power, and much more. However, all this policy promoting and research of candidates and districts relies on us getting official party status first. Thus, that's what you'll find me working on until November.