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Making a Difference: Sabrina Epstein, Maryland

As told by Sabrina Epstein
Baltimore, Maryland

Story Narrative:

Sabrina has curly, brown hair, white headphones on, and clear-rimmed eye glasses.

This snapshot was gathered in conjunction with the Maryland Voices initiative at Maryland Humanities, specifically to supplement the "Voices and Votes: Democracy in America" traveling exhibition from the Smithsonian's Museum on Main Street program. This collection, made up of stories of first-time voters between the ages of 18 and 24, showcases the experiences of young people as they wrestled with the 2020 presidential election, issues around social justice, the environment, immigration, and the pandemic.

Sabrina Epstein (00:00): Hi, I'm Sabrina Epstein. I live in Baltimore, Maryland right now, but I'm originally from San Antonio, Texas. And I'm a student at Johns Hopkins University.

Sabrina Epstein (00:13): One way I really enjoy engaging with politics is working on state issues, keeping up with the state legislature, the House of Delegates here in Maryland. State policy affects us directly in so many ways, but it is kind of hard to get the information on it, and the session moves really fast. Legislators on the state level really appreciate hearing from their constituents, and you really can make a difference there by equipping them with the information that they need to support a bill or to write legislation, that deals with the issues of you, of their constituents.

Sabrina Epstein (01:00): And so I like to go to different advocacy days in Annapolis, and write testimony, and send emails and phone calls to my legislators. And it's exciting. You get emails and phone calls back very quickly. It's such a direct way to engage with politics. And it really makes a difference. I would really encourage more people to get involved in state level policy.

Sabrina Epstein (01:31): In 2020, I was working with the Maryland Democratic Party on their voter protection committee. And as we know, voter protection has been kind of a buzzword in lots of circles, but we were working on making sure that people got to vote privately and independently during the pandemic, whether that meant vote by mail, or voting in person, or dropping off your ballot at the box.

Sabrina Epstein (02:03): And I was actually asked to join that committee as the disability community representative, so I was specifically working on accessibility issues for the state of Maryland. And it was really important to me, because I have a disability. And so, not only are those issues on the ballot, but they're also obstacles to get to the ballot. So I wanted to make sure that all of Marylanders with disabilities like myself didn't face those barriers, because we needed our voices to be heard, particularly in 2020.

Asset ID: 2021.03.15.f
Themes: Policy, politics, advocacy, state politics, legislature, voting protections, voting rights, voting, disability, accessibility
Date recorded: February 19, 2021
Length of recording: 02:38 m
Related traveling exhibition: Voices and Votes: Democracy in America
Sponsor or affiliated organization: Maryland Humanities
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