Students this year are more involved in politics than ever before. The Young Democrats Club gives them the opportunity to discuss local and national elections, as well as contemporary issues such as climate change. Senior Charles Johnson, a club officer, anticipates the club being far different from last year.
“We’ve got a new sponsor and it’s kind of a different structure than years past,” Johnson said. “So we still haven’t made all the decisions about what we’re going to be doing throughout the year.”
Johnson, along with the other officers, will be defining the structure of the club within the next couple of weeks. Its association with a new organization this year—the High School Democrats of America—gives officers freedom when planning future meetings.
“We’ve only had about two or three meetings so far, so we’re more interested in learning about the presidential candidates,” junior Yoav Gillath said.
Along with these changes, special education teacher Jeffrey Morrison became the new club sponsor. Morrison’s primary goal is to inform and discuss voting with club members.
“I believe that educating oneself as a voter is a civic duty, regardless of political party affiliation,” said Morrison.
Currently, the club is discussing the upcoming presidential election and the candidates’ policies.
“We’re all at that kind of age where we’re getting ready to vote, so it’s important to know who your candidates are,” junior Amy Mai said.
With voting coming up, members find it important for new voters to be educated on potential candidates and their values. Mai’s involvement in politics goes beyond the club, as voting is especially important to her and her family.
“My parents aren’t citizens and they’re not able to vote,” Mai said. “But I am a citizen of the U.S., so I am able to vote. I think it is important because I get to be the first person in my family to vote.”
Gillath’s priorities for the club center around political activism. By advocating for his beliefs, he hopes to impact the community by keeping students and staff informed and able to make meaningful decisions inside the voting booth.
“It’s important to learn about where everybody stands on issues that are important to us, and maybe to stand up and make a change in the world,” Gillath said.
Even though each member is a part of the club for a different reason, they all
agree that voting is an important topic to get involved in. They feel voter education is vital to students and staff preparing to submit ballots.
“Because this club is important to so many students, I want to support them in exploring their rights and responsibilities as a voter,” said Morrison.