The Californian

Students can be involved politically

Conan Maron, Staff Writer

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In today’s political environment, it often seems hard to keep up with the constant barrage of daily updates and instability of Washington, D.C. 

Students also are living in a time where it is incredibly easy to get involved in politics. People might ask how an ordinary person like themselves can have an impact on their community. 

Any person can voice their opinion on important issues or get locally involved in a number of favorable causes. 

There are a number of marches and demonstrations that occurs in the Bay Area. 

Just last year, there were marches in Berkeley and San Francisco over a number of local issues, such as immigration and the current presidency. The most recent march last month in Walnut Creek addressed women’s rights. 

Many Cal students decided to get involved in this national issue.

“I went to the [women’s] march because I found it so inspiring and empowering to be surrounded by so many people who feel the same way,” said senior Emily England. 

Attending these marches also showcases the diversity of people involved in the political community.

“You find out that not everyone has the same opinion as yourself, that everyone has different views about everything,” said junior Kristin Mifsud. 

Another way of getting involved is to start or join a local political organization or club at school. There are opportunities to start a new club, as well as joining established groups that are looking to expand into new areas. 

Participating in school clubs such as the Black Student Union (BSU) or Model United Nations (MUN) are excellent ways to learn about modern politics. 

For example, MUN is a club where participants represent different peoples or countries and debate how to solve global issues like climate change or a refugee crises. 

Additionally, students can read about local politics and attend town hall, city council or school board meetings to voice their opinions. 

Many students have spoken at school board meetings this year to voice their concerns about several district proposals.

Town hall meetings differ from most meetings that elected officials attend because they are created to interact directly with constituents. 

In December, local representative Eric Swalwell held a town hall meeting at Cal High and discussed the Republican tax plan and the ongoing Russia investigation. He also answered many questions from constituents.

“I like how the meeting gave us an opportunity to connect with our congressman so he knows what issues his constituents care about,” said senior Dennis Fiorentinos.

One of the simplest acts anyone can take is to stay informed. 

When deciding to volunteer, get involved, or run for a leadership position, people should make sure to stay informed about local issues that impact their community, as well as new political techniques and strategies.

Local TV and news stations help keep people updated about government-related events. People also can subscribe to various publications and follow their representatives on social media to get day by day updates. 

“Read into local politics and go to city hall meetings to voice your opinions,” said Mifsud. “Get educated on the topic and use that education actively, not passively.”

Ultimately, voting is the most important action in which an individual can partake. 

There are multiple ways to register to vote, such as at the DMV or online. Voting ensures that people’s opinions have an impact. 

In a time where information spreads quickly and change happens spontaneously, staying politically active is one way that students can stay informed and involved in the community.

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