As I thought about how I wanted to conclude my blogging for the summer, I knew I wanted to end with something I was incredibly passionate about, and immediately realized I wanted to write something focused on my work as president of the College Democrats. Of course, this isn’t a one man operation, and some of my fellow board members are in the Wake the Vote cohort as well, but since much of my political engagement over the next semester will be through the College Dems, I thought this would be a great way to segue into the semester ahead.
I won’t spoil a lot (especially since we’re still finalizing details), but I know we’ve got an exciting semester ahead, where it appears likely that the College Democrats will get to work with candidates up and down the ballot, plus have experiences such as phone banking and canvassing that were relished so much by members of the Wake the Vote cohort. I also hope that we’ll be able to partner with some other local organizations in order to put the pressure on candidates to take action on issues, which are directly affecting millennials. And with preregistration back for those sixteen and older, I’m hoping that we’ll be able to successfully do some outreach into the local high schools. And after a great semester of electing Democrats, we’ll be off to the inauguration in January! Last year, the Wake Forest College Democrats and the Salem College Democrats shared the CDNC Chapter of the Year award with the Warren Wilson College Democrats, and we don’t plan on slowing down now.
Sure, the College Democrats is a partisan organization, but I also think it’s important to note the role we play in some of the goals of Wake the Vote. I’m proud of the close relationship we have been able to develop with the Wake Forest College Republicans. Some of my counterparts in the College Democrats of North Carolina get chills when I mention to them that the College Democrats and College Republicans work together, but when you look at it, our goals aren’t too different. It’s all about political engagement. During the last election, only 44% of students voted. Both WFUCD and WFUCR will work together to ensure that students are registered to vote, whether here or at home, and if they’re registered at home, we’re work to ensure that they have the ability to cast an absentee ballot. Both organizations have the goal to engage as many voters on campus as possible, and to educate them on the issues, which most directly affect them. And both organizations will work to turn out as large of a constituency as possible on Election Day. I would expect that just like during the primary, the respective organizations will work together on a shuttle so that students will have easier access to their polls. Fortunately, unlike during the primary, it appears that we will not have the issue of educating students on the strict voter ID law, since the appeals court overturned the law instituting the ID requirement.
One thing I’d add, whether you’re a Democrat, Independent, or Republican, liberal, moderate, or conservative, let your voice be heard in November. Even if you dislike the candidates at the top of the ballot, there is no excuse for apathy. In November, we’ll be casting votes for Senate and Governor, along with 8 Council of State races, NC House and NC Senate races, seats on the North Carolina Supreme Court and NC Appeals Court, and county commission seats. It also appears likely that more bonds will be on the ballot for November. Educate yourself on the issues facing your community, your state, and your country. It’s too important not to.
As we push towards November, it’s sure to be an exciting semester, and I’m excited to see what sweeps in with the incoming class of freshman. Signing off for now. Go Deacs, Go Blue.