It’s often said that apathy is one of the greatest enemies of democracy. Thankfully, there are people like Colton Driver of Stephenville who lead by example – demonstrating that political activism isn’t as daunting as some may believe, and with perseverance, can be quite rewarding.
“I firmly believe that political apathy stems from the idea that you cannot change what is going on, and I strive to show others that regardless of age, experience or initial knowledge, you can learn, get involved, and effect positive change.”
At just 23-years-old and a “political activist” by every definition, Driver’s personal experiences are a true testament to this.
He and his sister were raised in Fort Worth by a single mom who is both a police officer and Marine Corps veteran. And while the terrorist attacks of 9/11 piqued his interest in politics at a young age, it was the pro-life movement that pushed him to become actively involved during his freshman year of college at Tarleton State University.
As a member of the Young Conservatives of Texas (YCT), Driver says his YCT colleagues “truly opened my eyes to the possibilities of full-time political engagement and led me to some of the many connections and wonderful opportunities that I have been blessed to find since.”
Such opportunities included volunteering for Mitt Romney’s presidential campaign, working for Commissioner Sid Miller’s campaign for Commissioner of Agriculture, Gov. Abbott’s gubernatorial campaign, Brent Graves’s campaign for state representative, and many others. Driver’s roles in each campaign varied greatly and grew with each experience, ranging from volunteer and outreach coordinator to managing fundraising and social media to eventually serving as a campaign manager. He was also nominated to represent Senate District 30 on the Republican Party’s State Nominations Committee in 2016 and is currently serving as a Precinct Chair for Erath County Republican Party.
Driver has even dabbled in crafting policy: “Most recently, after an effort started in 2015, I saw the culmination of the efforts of a committee I served on at Tarleton State University, with the president of the university signing a new policy that I helped craft, on how to address and prevent rape and sexual assault on campus and among the student body.”
When it comes to getting involved and implementing change, Driver says it’s actually quite simple. He suggests one start by attending government meetings (such as a city council or school board meeting), become informed about the issues, meet your representatives, and voice your opinion – whether that’s as simple as emailing an elected official, voting, or speaking at local government meetings.
And while he continues to learn with each new experience, he says the most important lesson he’s learned so far is perseverance. “It takes time to change laws, and sometimes it is daunting and tiring to fight for a cause that you may not be seeing victories with yet. Keep driving, change your strategy, and don’t give up.”
When not volunteering, working, brainstorming policy ideas, or participating in a community event, Driver enjoys hiking with friends, exploring new restaurants, and traveling.