Aspiring politician gains experience

Published 2:41 pm Thursday, May 27, 2010

Before he turned 18 and could legally vote, Elliot Bell had managed three political campaigns and spent four years involved with school government.

Bell said when he looks back, he’s not sure how he stumbled into politics, but now it drives him.

“It’s a hunger. It’s terribly satisfying to enact policies and impact change in a positive way,” Bell said.

Bell has helped bring positive change to the community at Indian Springs School through school government and service. As a freshman he formed the Young Democrats Club and focused the club’s goals on community outreach. As commissioner of citizenship his junior year, Bell organized the school’s day of service and stretched student involvement past the usual borders to include the Firehouse Shelter and Oak Mountain Ministries. He also served for one semester of his senior year as the school mayor.

“Community is a driving force,” Bell said. “Life is not worth living unless you give back.”

Bell’s first interaction with local government came when he was nominated as the youth chair of the Shelby County Democrats Club. He has managed both Nick Sparks’ 4th district congressional campaign and his mother Cindy Bell’s run for Shelby County commissioner.

Bell spent the summer before his senior year as the youngest intern for Rep. Artur Davis, planning Davis’ county tours during his August recess. Now he’s running Virginia Sweet’s campaign for the Alabama House of Representatives District 43 seat and will work until election day in November.

“It’s a blur, but I have so much fun. It’s a whole lot of work and not all the time gratifying, but it’s a pursuit, and when you go on the campaign trail and see those faces, it feeds that hunger,” he said.

Bell’s next move will be attending the University of Alabama. He’s considering a history major and possibly a creative writing or music minor. Ten years down the road, he said he hopes he’ll be running his own campaign.