Xavier student Annalese Cahill describes work on campaign, mayor’s office
By Mattie Cieplak, Staff Writer
Xavier Student Government Association President Annalese Cahill began working in local politics for congressional candidate Kate Schroder and has since worked as an assistant to Cincinnati Mayor Aftab Pureval.
2022 is a midterm election year. At the federal level, seats in both the House and Senate create an opening for control of both chambers to switch. However, for people like senior Annalese Cahill, there is something else on the agenda when it comes to this election cycle: local elections. With offices such as the governor of Ohio, State Supreme Court and state legislative races on the ballot, local politics make a difference.
Cahill first became involved in local politics after interning in 2020 for Congressional Candidate Kate Schroder. “On the trail, I met then Hamilton County Clerks of Courts Aftab Pureval,” Cahill stated. “We sat down for a coffee, and after the 2020 Congressional campaign, I went straight into an internship on his Mayoral Campaign through all of 2021.”
Cahill has continued her work in local politics since then, primarily working in Mayor Pureval’s office. “I just finished seven months of work as Pureval’s assistant. I got to serve in a full-time capacity this summer, and I was immersed in everything local politics and government. I am now moving on to a new Co-Op, but I am still staying involved with him as much as possible while also working to help others in the community get elected.”
Cahill’s responsibilities while working with the mayor’s office ranged from getting lunch, to staffing policy meetings and interviews. Other opportunities included meeting local organizers and community leaders to help promote the Mayor’s agenda.
When asked why local politics were important to her, Cahill responded, “They are the most accessible and impactful to everyday life for most people. I see local politics as the most direct way to engage with American democracy and impact people in the largest ways.”
On a larger scale, Cahill emphasized the continued importance of local politics. “When federal dollars pass, they go to the cities and counties. Our local officials are responsible for the priorities of an entire jurisdiction of hundreds of thousands of people. It is so crucial that these people are chosen wisely.”
Despite the personal importance of local politics to Cahill, it can be difficult to stay involved. Cahill, a full-time college student, acts as Xavier’s student body president– and is currently transitioning to a new Co-Op. Cahill prioritizes three things to stay in the loop: “One is reading the local news everyday. Second, I ask anyone involved in politics I meet to get coffee. Third, I take time to canvass or phone bank once a month for someone.” Through creating these types of connections, Cahill allows for herself to be a more educated, well-rounded political individual.
Cahill knows that in the future she will be involved in local politics or government. “I have never felt so passionate and encouraged by watching the work of our incredible Cincinnati organizers and officials. I want to do anything I can to support the people doing this work to make life better for our region.”
Although the federal elections may be on the forefront of people’s minds, local elections, as Cahill mentioned, hold weight. To make sure your voice is heard in this year’s midterm election at a local and federal level, register to vote. Information can be found at https://www.usa.gov/voter-registration.