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The Daily Wildcat

The Daily Wildcat

 

Meet Joseline Mata, President of UA Young Democrats

Joseline+Mata%2C+president+of+the+Young+Democrats.
Courtesy of Joseline Mata

Joseline Mata, president of the Young Democrats.

Joseline Mata, a political science sophomore and the newly elected president of the University of Arizona Young Democrats, aims to lead the club to new heights.

UAYD is a chartered club of national organization Young Democrats of America. According to YDA.org, “Young Democrats of America is the largest partisan, youth-led political organization in America.”

Mata graduated from University High School, here in Tucson, where she gives credit to her becoming a Democrat. Former Arizona Rep. Gabrielle Giffords, who resigned after being severely injured in a shooting, also graduated from UHS.

Mata said Giffords inspired her to become involved in politics while she was attending UHS. Mata did research on issues, developed her own opinions and decided, “I’m a Democrat; this is what I believe in.”

After Giffords was severely injured, she still wanted to represent her district. “There’s no reason for me to not be involved,” she remembers thinking.

Heading into 2016, a vital election year, Mata said she plans to invite senate and congressional candidates to come to UAYD meetings and speak to members. Mata also mentioned the importance of bringing in state legislators to speak to the club.

“We have such a diverse group of state legislators in Phoenix that represent Tucson,” Mata said. “They all kind of bring different perspectives, so it gives us a lot of different things to look at in terms of policy in Arizona.”

Mata said she believes that student loans and the overall cost of higher education is a big issue for students.

“It’s crazy to see that so many people graduate with so much debt,” she said.

Mata said that student debt weighs her peers down. They are forced to get multiple jobs and focus on paying off debt rather than focusing on other financial concerns after they graduate, she said.

This year, Mata has set high goals for UAYD. They plan to host another voter registration drive, as they have done in the past, and to educate students on whether they’re registered to vote, if out-of-state students can vote in Arizona or if their parents will be sending them their ballot.

“I’m also the vice president for the College Democrats of Arizona, so we’ll be working closely with ASU and NAU chapters,” Mata said.

Miranda Mann, an eSociety sophomore, is a member of UAYD. Mann became a member of UAYD during her freshman year after seeing the club at UA’s Student Involvement Fair. This year’s fall fair is Sept. 1 on the UA Mall.

The UA Young Democrats meet every other Thursday in the Student Union Memorial Center.

“The best part of Young Dems is the community,” Mann said. “I really like how we’re all just really passionate about what we care about, we always have a lot of fun when we’re together, and [we] get to feel like we’re making a difference.”


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