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The Daily Wildcat

The Daily Wildcat


    Politics and music collide with Calexico

    Calexicos Joey Burns performs at the Rialto Theatre on Saturday.
    Calexico’s Joey Burns performs at the Rialto Theatre on Saturday.

    Politics and music came together on Saturday when a congresswoman and two of Arizona’s better known musical acts converged in the Old Pueblo for a bit of merrymaking.

    Congresswoman Gabrielle Giffords, Tucson band Calexico and Phoenix-native Jim Adkins, lead singer of Jimmy Eat World, set out to engage Tucson’s community, especially the youth, with the Go Vote 2008 concert and festival.

    The festival, which and preceded the concertwas set up outside the Rialto Theatre before the concert, featured booths from UA student organizations such as the Young Democrats and Teen Democrats and community organizations like Planned Parenthood.

    Up for District 8 re-election, Giffords is capitalizing on youth involvement. This election season is drawing the attention of young voters and rightly so. With a shift in the economy, soaring gas prices and the threat of global warming looming overhead, the leaders of tomorrow are taking note today.

    “”If you don’t vote, you can’t complain,”” said Tiernay Marsh, an international relations sophomore.

    Yahya Yukel, a political science freshman and founder of the Tucson Teen Democrats chapter, said the concert was a great way to energize young people.

    “”Teen Democrats came to get youth more active,”” Yukel said. “”We’re here because we believe in Giffords, and we want to get out the Teen Democrat word and get youth more active in politics.””

    Yukel is also a member of Students for Giffords, the driving force behind the event.

    Many students attending the concert said they came for the bands but ended up finding out more about Giffords, while others came to support Giffords and listen to great music.

    This untraditional rally seemed to attract people who might not attend a traditional political rally, and others you wouldn’t generally see at a Rialto concert.

    Nearly 1,400 people attended the event and helped Giffords accomplish her goal of engaging people in the political process.

    After the show Adkins and Joey Burns, Calexico’s lead singer, both said they feel involvement is key in this election, and that while this event may have been preaching to the converted, it’s up to those in attendance to go out and spread the word.

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