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When I think about what qualities I want the president of the United States to possess, I think about things like honesty, moral integrity, authenticity, intelligence, compassion and even things like oratorical skill and foresight.

Unfortunately, the current occupant of the White House displays none of these traits, and our communities are suffering because of it. I have been following the Democratic presidential primary since the first candidates began to announce their exploratory committees. Throughout, I have searched for a candidate who displays all of the aforementioned qualities, and so many more. 

Who is that candidate? Elizabeth Warren.

Warren offers a story of authenticity unlike any other. Throughout her early adult life, she identified and registered as a Republican. She believed in the economic conservative rhetoric of the party, until she was shockingly proved wrong. Elizabeth Warren studied bankruptcy and really wanted an answer to why so many American families were going broke. Before completing her research, she believed that these people were careless, spending too much money and buying things they didn’t need and taking the easy way out by filing for bankruptcy. Instead, Elizabeth discovered that the majority of these people were bankrupt because of massive medical bills or discrepancies and complications in insurance coverage. This caused her to leave her party, and evolve into the progressive candidate she is today.

Elizabeth Warren is the president that our nation needs to rebuild our democracy and to uplift all of the marginalized people and communities that have been left behind and forgotten by our current government. Following her research, she has spent her life and career fighting for the American consumer who has been taken advantage of and cheated; creating the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau, which has now returned over $12 billion to the people that lost everything. She was the first candidate to pledge to stand in the rose garden annually and read the names of all the transgender women killed that year; refusing to ignore them and promising to honor their inherent value.

Sen. Warren has 75 detailed plans, and she keeps drafting and releasing more. I am currently employed working around 35-40 hours a week, and I'm considered a part-time employee. My schedule gets posted one week ahead, and changes often get made just days before. I regularly have to work “clopens” — closing that night and then opening the next morning. Under Warren’s Fair Workweek plan, employers with 15 or more employees would be required to give two weeks notice for work schedules and give 11 hours of rest between shifts, with higher compensation required for changes made to schedules and hours voluntarily worked within their respective windows. Elizabeth is also working to raise wages and benefits for employees with a $15 minimum wage and a benefits plan for part-time employees. These plans will allow workers to enjoy the rest they need and deserve rather than being forced to work extreme hours just to make ends meet. She is the candidate fighting for the everyday workers that keep our stores and restaurants open, clean and enjoyable.

She has plans to combat climate change and invest in our oceans and clean energy, legalize marijuana and create a just cannabis industry that invests in minority owned business’, end the opioid crisis and to cancel student debt on day one of her presidency. Most notable are her plans to institute a wealth tax on the ultra-rich and her Medicare for All proposal which both align with her goals of limiting wealth inequality in the U.S. and ensuring healthcare as a human right. To Elizabeth Warren, these are not just empty promises, these are objectives that she will put everything on the line for and fight to accomplish.

Since the 2016 election, we have seen the most corrupt presidency in modern American history. We have seen illegal and unethical deals made, our national security compromised and our democracy set aside all for the personal enrichment of the current White House occupant. Elizabeth Warren is running on an anti-corruption platform; pledging to never give ambassadorial positions to wealthy donors, ban the use of private prisons and drastically improve transparency through the automatic releases of tax return documents and the divesting of conflicting and business assets. Elizabeth Warren is the candidate that can take on the corruption in Washington.

On Tuesday, March 17, people across the state will head to the polls, request a ballot and vote, performing their most basic, yet essential civic duty. On March 17, I will proudly cast my ballot for the candidate that has persisted, the candidate who is running for office because that’s what girls do and the candidate willing to dream big and fight hard. I am voting for Elizabeth Warren, and I hope you will too. LFG!

Andrew Davis is a senior at Willard High School and BGSU College Credit Plus student.

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