Jack McGaughey

“I was a few weeks short of being old enough to vote in 2016,” says Jack McGaughey, who was then a senior at Marist High School. “I followed the election, but didn’t feel closely connected. Growing into adulthood during the Trump presidency showed me how important good leadership is.” Born and raised in Eugene, McGaughey attended O’Hara Catholic School for grades 1-8 and also studied theater and music with Rose Children’s Theatre, Oregon Children’s Choir and Imagine That! summer camps, where he met his musical mentor Scotty Perey. After high school, he moved to England for a three-year course of study at the Liverpool Institute for Performing Arts. In February of this year, he joined The Bluejays, the UK’s top 1950s vintage rock ‘n’ roll band, on keyboards. “I was bummed out,” he says, after returning to Eugene in March because of COVID. “The band was booked for upwards of 15 cruise ship gigs.” But soon he began to take an interest in the 2020 election, in particular, a friend’s Instagram post about Vote Forward, a nonprofit that enables volunteers to write letters to Democratic voters who are unlikely to vote. “I feel passionately about underrepresentation of young people,” he says. “I ended up writing 220 letters ahead of the election.” Volunteers who sign up on the Vote Forward website receive a template file to be printed for each recipient, with space for the sender’s handwritten message. “When they announced a campaign for the Georgia Senate runoff election, I enlisted my girlfriend Madeleine Rowell and our roommate Hannah Davis,” he notes. “We decided that we would write 3,000 letters. The letters ask Georgians to vote without telling them how to vote.” The trio held a Facebook fundraiser to pay off the $1,650 that they have spent on stamps. Learn how more on the Jack McGaughey Facebook page, where you can also find an Isolation Recording video of Jack on piano with the Bluejays Big Band, performing Jackie Wilson’s “Reet Petite.”

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