During the 2016 presidential campaign, Aisha Moe’s 8-year-old brother came home from school in tears.
“My brother got told if Donald Trump became president, we’d have to be deported because our family is Muslim.” Moe told Madison365. “And he was very distraught about that. And I was sitting at the dinner table when he shared that with my whole family. He’s 8 years old and this is how politicians can affect families. He’s not voting, but yet it still impacts him.”
That interaction with her brother propelled Moe into politics. Today, Moe is running for state Senate.
“I decided that instead of sitting on the sideline and critiquing the system, I would put myself at stake and take a stand for these values that I believe in. And this was the way that I saw doing it,” she said.
Moe is running against incumbent Demoncratic state Sen. Fred Risser and Nada Elmikshafi in the Democratic primary for Wisconsin’s 26th district.
Moe graduated from the University of Wisconsin-Madison in December 2019 and volunteered for U.S Sen. Tammy Baldwin and Gov. Tony Evers. She wants to take “bold moves” to make college debt free, tackle climate change and legalize cannabis.
In order to address the racial inequities of Wisconsin, she wants to partner with organizations that are already on the ground doing the work, she said.
“When someone is an elected official or a candidate, you have the ability to speak about an issue and promote other people who are experts in that field or care deeply about this issue and want to bring forward social justice,” she said.
She mentioned organizations like Urban Triage, Urban League of Greater Madison and the Boys and Girls Club.
“I think there are organizations that are already out there doing the work and they just need to be supported to do the amazing job they’re already doing. As opposed to having someone come in and be like, ‘we need to do more research about the problem,’ — we know there’s a problem and we just need to support people who are taking action right now,” Moe said.
On her website, Moe writes that she is inspired by the success of the young female politicians that surged in the 2018 Congressional campaigns across the country. She is running against Sen. Riser, who is 92 years old and has held his seat for 58 years. He is the longest serving legislator in Wisconsin history, and is well liked, Moe acknowledges.
“Sen. Fred Risser has an amazing track record for representing Madison,” Moe said. “You would definitely have to, if you’ve represented Madison for (58) years…. He’s a really kind person and he’s done a good job and I’m not running because I think he’s doing a bad job but only because I think I could do a great one. I think we differ in the fact that I’m a young woman of color, I’m taking a bold stance and I am forward thinking,” Moe said.
If elected, Moe would be the first woman to hold the senate seat for Wisconsin’s 26th District.