Students in Northeastern University’s Department of Political Science had two opportunities to meet with elected leaders who started their
careers just a few years out of college, talking about how they got involved in politics and sharing perspective on making changes, from Boston City Hall to the German Bundestag.
Johannes Vogel talked to students in Prof. Colin Brown’s comparative politics course and also met with faculty and graduate students for a meet-and-greet on March 20th, 2019. Vogel, who is a political scientist and member of Germany’s federal parliament for the Free Democratic Party, as well as former chair of the Junge Liberale youth political organization, addressed a number of the issues facing Germany in an era of populism and demographic change. He also talked about his own journey, where making a small change in his hometown as a teen convinced him he really could make a difference on issues that mattered to him.
Later that day, students in the Senior Capstone and other seniors in the department had a chance to talk with Councilor Michelle Wu of the City of Boston. Wu shared her own political journey, from being a nervous and less-than-enthusiastic public speaker, to campaign volunteer and constituency director for Elizabeth Warren’s first Senate run, to running for office herself.
She emphasized the importance of being authentic, but argued that working on matters that one cares about helps create that authenticity.
She reminded students that politics matters because politics is where we decide that things can change for the better, and that government and politics are a great place to make a difference in the world.