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Can Taylor Swift songs bring Congress together? One LA woman's quest

A Taylor Swift fan is using politicians' favorite Swift songs to bridge political differences and advocate for important issues.

Shaadi Ahmadzadeh, a 21-year-old UC Berkeley data science major from Los Angeles, has always been a devoted fan of Taylor Swift. In fact, she can't help but ask everyone she meets about their favorite Swift song. But now, Ahmadzadeh is using her love for Swift's music as a way to bridge political differences and make a difference in the world.

It all started on her 21st birthday, when Ahmadzadeh attended her first Swift concert with her friend Marianna Pecora. The experience was nothing short of magical, and it inspired Ahmadzadeh to think about the power of Swift's music to bring people together.

"She takes you through the five stages of grief in one song and could still leave you smiling at the end," Ahmadzadeh said. "There's something so comforting about singing the songs you've cried to when you're alone in a stadium with over 20,000 people in the room."

With this in mind, Ahmadzadeh began compiling a list of politicians' favorite Taylor Swift songs and albums. Her goal was to use this information to engage and persuade Congress members who may have little in common, except for their love of Swift.

And it's working. Ahmadzadeh has already seen some major successes. When the U.S. was withdrawing from Afghanistan, she reached out to Congress members for help in getting an acquaintance out of the country. But she quickly realized that she was just one voice among many, and her cause was getting lost in the shuffle.

That's when she decided to ask about the Congress members' favorite Taylor Swift songs as a way to stand out and build a relationship. Slowly, she started to receive responses, and she used these conversations as a way to advocate for her cause. Eventually, her friend was able to come to the States with the help of Congress.

To date, Ahmadzadeh has collected almost 50 favorite songs from politicians and plans to continue cataloging their preferences while advocating for other important issues, such as youth mental health. She also hopes to analyze the data and look for patterns based on age, location, voting patterns, and how they align with the American public at large.

So far, she's found that "1989" and "Shake it Off" are the most popular album and song, respectively, among politicians. But she'll need more responses before drawing any concrete conclusions.

Some notable favorites include "You Belong With Me TV" by David Valadao and Laura M. Lee, "Cardigan" by Adam Schiff, "Shake It Off" by Nancy Pelosi, and "Love Story (Taylor's Version)" by Robert Garcia. There are also some outliers, like Jeff Jackson, who is not a Taylor Swift fan, and Bernie Sanders, who chose "Fernando" by Abba.

Despite her success so far, Ahmadzadeh hasn't attempted to get Taylor Swift's attention or ask about her favorite song. She acknowledges that it might be tougher than contacting a Congress member, but she believes that Swift's platform and dedication to civic engagement could make a difference.

"It would be really funny if she sees it or acknowledges it, and productive because she does have a large platform and cares about civic engagement," Ahmadzadeh said. "But I couldn't ask Taylor Swift what's her favorite Taylor Swift song -- she's Taylor Swift."

Overall, Ahmadzadeh's project is a testament to the power of music to bring people together and make a difference. Through her love for Taylor Swift's music, she's been able to connect with politicians and advocate for important causes. And who knows, maybe one day Taylor Swift herself will take notice.

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