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The Daily Wildcat

The Daily Wildcat

 

“Democratic fervor less apparent, but still around”

Democratic+fervor+less+apparent%2C+but+still+around

Almost a year after the presidential elections, the Democratic fervor that recently permeated the UA campus is not as apparent as it once was.

But appearances aside, young Democrats at the UA and in the community have redirected their energy and continue to support the Democratic agenda on a large scale, according to local organizers.

Brittni Storrs, president of the UA chapter of Young Democrats, said that now, more than ever, Democratic students are needed to raise awareness on political issues at the local and national level.

“”We are trying to get students to wake up and realize that their vote can have a huge impact on the local community and state,”” said Storrs. Without a major state or national election to focus on, Storrs said that registering voters for the upcoming Tucson City Council Elections on Nov. 3 is the first item on the agenda for the UA Young Democrats this fall.

While many students are unaware of the City Council’s agenda, Storrs said the upcoming elections will have an impact on the UA and its students. “”We are all part of this community,”” she said. “”The city government is responsible for maintaining our roads, revitalizing the downtown and keeping our city green.””

The UA Young Democrats are partnering with the Pima County Young Democrats to organize a phone drive to inform voters of the upcoming election and its Democratic candidates. The terms of Democratic council members Nina Trasoff of Ward Six, Karin Uhlich of Ward Three and Steve Leal of Ward Five, all expire this December and all three council members are up for re-election.

Pat Burns, the President of Pima County Young Democrats and campaign manager for Trasoff, said that Pima County Young Democrats are playing a critical role in reinstating the incumbent Democrats. “”We have around 200 members who are active in going door to door and calling Democrats to make sure they register to vote,”” said Burns.

Aside from city politics, the Pima County Young Democrats and the Young Democrats of Arizona are working with Organizing for America, the volunteer branch of the Democratic National Committee.

Previously known as Obama for America, Organizing for America started out as a grassroots campaign to elect Barack Obama to office. After the election, it changed its focus to promoting the President’s agenda state by state. The Arizona arm of Organizing for America is currently promoting health care and state education reform through a series of community events and forums.

Kenneth Jacobs, a field organizer for the Organizing for America, said that hosting community events that educate the public about political issues is a primary goal for the OFA. On Sept. 5, the Organizing for America hosted a forum on health insurance reform at Sunnyside High School in Tucson. Arizona Congressman Raul Grijalva, along with a pharmacist, a public health professor and a cancer patient undergoing chemotherapy, addressed a packed auditorium about the benefits of a national healthcare system.

“”Most young Americans aren’t aware or don’t realize how expensive health care really is,”” said Jacobs. “”Events like these help to inform voters of the importance of getting health reforms done now.””

The UA Young Democrats are working with Organizing for Americaby informing young voters about the merits of being politically active. “”Right now we are increasing our membership and contacting voters,”” said Storrs. “”Young voters pay more attention when someone their own age tells them the facts.”” 

With state elections on the 2010 horizon, Organizing for America is focusing on educating potential voters on the democratic agenda. “”At the state level, education cuts have been huge and substantial,”” said Burns. “”Instead of making cuts we need to look at reforming the tax system so we bring in more revenue.””

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