We the People is a blog series that features the stories of members, supporters, volunteers, and allies of the American Civil Liberties Union of South Dakota. Together we are accomplishing critical work in our state to protect and advance civil liberties across the Midwest and beyond.

Tara is an avid reader and reproductive justice fanatic. She is also volunteering her time on Election Day to make sure every voter has the information they need to cast an informed ballot.

Tell us a little about yourself.

I’m 35 years old. I like to read, knit, and spend time with my dogs. My person and I were recently married and we love volunteering for the American Civil Liberties Union together.

When did you first hear about the ACLU?

I don’t recall when I first heard about the ACLU, but I knew I wanted to be a part of their work by volunteering my time when I heard about their fight against another transgender bathroom bill introduced in the South Dakota legislature. So I became a member and found a protest to attend in my area to join the fight and have been volunteering and have become more aware and politically active because of it.

How does the ACLU and our work relate to you personally? Are there any issues you feel most connected to?

While I don’t believe that a constitution written by white slave-owners almost 300 years ago is the best we can do as a country, I do believe it’s important that we work toward protecting and defending it. The ACLU works tirelessly to defend our rights against those that think equality is a finite resource.

I’m a repro-rights advocate and a lesbian. This administration’s war on women and the queer community and their white supremacist agenda is infuriating. I have rage. I want to use that rage to make positive change.

What made you want to volunteer on Election Day with the ACLU?

Thanks to the work of the ACLU, I know my rights and want to be at the polls as a defender of those rights for those with questions or those who may experience any difficulties casting their ballot. I’m gonna high-five every voter I see!

Why is voting important to you?

I love voting. I always feel a sense of pride and accomplishment after voting. Sometimes, I even get a little choked up. Voting is the only way to hold our representatives accountable. It’s a way to feel less powerless. It’s a duty we owe to those who lost their lives in the fight for the right to vote. We need to honor them by showing up and voting not just for ourselves but for the members of vulnerable and marginalized communities that are being targeted by despicable policies.

Have you voted yet?

I’m voting on Election Day. Then I plan to attend the watch party at Fernson.