Between elections: Catching up with Young Democrats and Young Republicans

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Election time was a big deal for all people involved in politics, including members of the Young Democrats and Young Republicans. But the students’ involvement in politics did not end at the ballot box. Between elections, both groups continue to further their role in government.
While awaiting the next voting season, the Young Democrats have come up with several different projects, revolving around social issues in the community and around the country. For example, after the shooting in Newtown, Connecticut, the students started a letter writing campaign.
“They wrote about gun violence and gun control to senators and state representatives,” Young Democrats sponsor and English teacher Tricia Garvey said. “That’s our big project right now. They just came in on Tuesday to print and mail those out.”
However, the Young Democrats aren’t the only group to take action in our community. Although the Young Republicans haven’t taken part in a community service project this year, they plan to this spring.
“Now that the election is over with, we are having a meeting next week about a community service project that we will do,” student leader of Young Republicans, junior Nick Nash said. “It will probably be something to do with helping the elderly or beautification of some sort.”
Teacher sponsor Cathy Russell said that in the past, the Young Republicans helped to raise money for the United Service Organization, whose mission is to support the troops.
“We made presents for the guys at the veterans hospital,” Russell said. “We collected personal care products and then, using the money that we fundraised, we bought things like underwear and socks to give to the veterans.”
In addition to taking action within the community, both clubs allow students to become involved in politics and to advocate a change in which they believe. Each club holds meetings to give students a platform to speak about issues that matter to them.
“We discuss current things happening in government, how we think the government is responding and how we can get involved,” a member of Young Republicans, junior Hope Williams said.
Nash said the Young Republicans hasn’t met as consistently as he’d like but they are planning on meeting once or twice a month from now on. He also said that students are open minded and welcome different opinions.
The Young Democrats meets roughly twice a month to share their thoughts on certain political issues. The students run all of the discussions themselves and come in with their own ideas about what they want to talk about.
“We need to know what is going on the world around us and a lot of the policies being discussed directly affect us,” Young Democrats member, senior Jenny Lesorogol said. “Students have new and different perspectives and we have ideas that can make a difference.”
Both political groups work to empower the youth and encourage students to get informed and involved. Even when there’s no election coming up, students can play a huge role in government.
“It’s our responsibility to get informed and make the right decisions and that’s what we try to do,” Nash said. #