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The Daily Wildcat

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The Daily Wildcat

The Daily Wildcat

 

    “Energy, education & election”

    Jacob Rader/Arizona Daily Wildcat Arizona Congresswoman Gabrielle Giffords addresses the UA Young Democrats yesterday in the Student Union Memorial Center.
    Jacob Rader/Arizona Daily Wildcat Arizona Congresswoman Gabrielle Giffords addresses the UA Young Democrats yesterday in the Student Union Memorial Center.

    Rep. Gabrielle Giffords of Arizona entertained an audience of over 100 students last night, making mention of renewable energy in Arizona, the 2008 elections and keeping American students competitive with other nations.

    Following her lecture, Giffords also fielded questions from the audience ranging from her stance on the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act and same sex marriages to concerns over medical insurance for illegal immigrants.

    “”We need to make sure employers are held responsible if they are knowingly hiring people who are immigrants,”” she said. “”But the biggest problem we have are the 14 million people that are here illegally.

    “”In my opinion those people need some sort of documentation,”” she added. “”They need to be here legally.””

    Another topic broached was her views of fixing the nation’s education.

    “”We graduated 60,000 engineers at our universities last year. China graduated 600,000,”” Giffords said. “”We have to invest heavily on early childhood education.””

    One of the biggest problems facing education is the lack of adequate pay for teachers, she said.

    Keeping a Democratic majority in the legislature following the upcoming elections will change the financial allocation toward the UA and colleges in general, said James Jefferies, president of the UA Young Democrats.

    “”Giffords takes a strong stance toward education, period, and that can’t help but come back to our state,”” said Jefferies, a political science senior. “”From health care to equal rights for domestic partners, from the economy to energy independence, there simply is no understating how important it is to go out and turn Arizona blue.””

    Jefferies added that the youth vote – voters between the ages of 18 and 24 – may be more prominent than ever in deciding who the next president is.

    “”Well, basically, when youth comes out to vote, democrats win. We vote overwhelmingly 2-to-1 for democrats,”” Jeffries said. “”So the more young people turn out at the polls, the better our chances are, period.””

    David Martinez III, member of the young democrats, was one of four UA students to attend the Democratic National Convention in Denver last week.

    “”This is the year of the young voter,”” Martinez said.

    The youth vote has had a large impact on this year’s election, starting from the primary elections, he added.

    “”It’s all about the message and the people. There are issues that are happening today that are aeffecting our generation – the war in Iraq, the fact that we may not have a good economy or jobs, the rising cost of education, the rising cost of health care,”” said David Martinez III, a member of the Young Democrats said. “”They may seem like old issues that don’t effect us, but we are living through these things right now.

    “”We see the need for change. We are looking for political figures to work with this to accomplish our goals. And we see this in Barack Obama and the Democratic party,”” Martinez added.

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