Avra Reddy hosted an intimate campaign kickoff party Tuesday night, where friends, family and community members gathered in support.

Reddy moved to Wisconsin for the summer at age 16 to gain experience working on a political campaign. Now, at 19, she is working on her own campaign for Madison City Council District 8 Alder.

Reddy emphasized that District 8, which she would represent if elected, covers most of the University of Wisconsin campus, which means most of the district’s constituents are students. The district extends through freshmen dorms like Witte, Sellery and Lakeshore dorms, as well as several apartment buildings in these areas, she explained.

“It is really really important to get a student into the seat because only a student can know what students want and can feel what students feel,” Reddy said.

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Reddy explained that her platform is mainly focused on sustainability and campus safety. To solve issues in these areas she hopes to expand public transportation and extend the hours that buses run on campus. Affordable housing available to all students is another facet of Reddy’s platform.

As campus safety is a key part of her platform, and has been for many candidates who have previously run for the District 8 seat, Reddy believes women should have more of a say in campus safety policies. According to Reddy, a woman has not held the District 8 seat since 1992.

“Each person in this district has run on the concept that we need to increase safety in the district, but we cannot have a conversation about campus safety without women at the table, so we need to get a woman elected to this seat,” Reddy said.

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Reddy and her campaign team encouraged those in attendance to support her with their nominations.

UW student Cecelia McDermott attended the kickoff and said she believes Reddy is very qualified for the position despite her age.

“She’s been involved in Madison politics, and she is really connected with the students here and I think she is the best candidate for the position because of her experience in the community,” McDermott said.

UW freshman Matthew Mitnick also declared he is running for the District 8 Alder position. If any more candidates decide to run, a primary election will be held Feb. 19, and the regular spring election will occur April 2.