By Amy Tobia 

I grew up in the Midwest, in western Kansas, and much like you, the caricatures that people build of anyone who hasn’t had their same background are very different from the actual people. You know, in all elements of my life, everyone is more nuanced. And so why our political system has landed into two camps is beyond me, because people don’t land into two camps.

But at the end of the day, we all have the same challenges. We want to see a good education for every kid. We want to have a community where we can build a business and build a life for ourselves and be able to take care of our families and have security and have food on the table every night.

We all want those same basic things. And we should be pulling together towards that and not beating each other up about about the best way to accomplish those things. So I think democracy reform, if we create a system where we have better representation that’s really listening and problem-solving and taking a community approach to things, it can really transform those conversations to where they’re productive disagreements as opposed to destructive disagreements.

Amy Tobia is a leader for Represent San Diego, the local chapter of Represent.Us, a grassroots organization focused on election reform, voting rights and anti-corruption initiatives nationwide. She also sits on the steering committees of More Choice SD and Voters’ Voice Initiatives.