Interview with Julia Leslie: People of Maine Win Universal Healthcare

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Julia Leslie is a sophomore at Wellesley College potentially majoring in French and Political Science. In her first year, she joined the Wellesley SLAP (student labor action project) chapter. At the time, Wellesley was one of the last college campuses in the nation that still did not compensate student RAs and house presidents, and one of SLAP’s biggest goals was to fix this. After a few years of constant dialogue with administration, this school year, our RAs and HPs are paid – including Leslie herself, who is a RA this year. But, that doesn’t mean SLAP no longer has a purpose. SLAP’s wider goal is to address issues of financial accessibility, encouraging on-campus discussions of class and continuing to work with the administration for things like securing on-campus jobs for work-study students.

Leslie also works with a non-constituted (does not receive funding from the college) on-campus org that aims to provide leadership, communication, and community organization skills training under the model of Harvard professor, Marshall Ganz. Non-constituted orgs are usually not as well known as their college-endorsed counterparts, so this was my first time hearing about it. She is also seeking deeper involvement in Wellesley Raiz, a latinx org that has been a key on-campus presence post-election.

Leslie believes that most people become involved in activist work related to their personal, lived experiences. For her big victory in 2030, she wishes for universal healthcare for all people of Maine, including children and undocumented immigrants. She said she would have perhaps gone to law school before returning to Maine, her home state, which she describes as being very politically divided and currently led by an extremely conservative governor. She also expressed interested in public school education reform.

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