With the Nov. 2 election less than two weeks away, campaigns are working to inform students about their causes and encouraging everyone to vote.
One such campaign is No on Prop 23, led by CalPIRG, a California student public interest group. Prop 23 would suspend the Global Warming Act of 2006, a clean air and energy act to increase renewable energy and lower greenhouse gas emissions by 2020. If passed, this proposition will be in effect until unemployment falls below 5.5 percent.
“If it does get passed, first of all, it’s a health issue. For anyone that goes outside, it’s going to affect them,” said Jacob Rin, CalPIRG UCD chapter chair and Global Warming Solutions campaign coordinator. “It will allow oil companies to pollute without restriction.”
Proponents for Prop 23 argue that it will help the economy. Resources devoted to the implementation of the Global Warming Act can be used to help decrease the unemployment rate. No on Prop 23 argues that the Global Warming Act will help create new jobs.
“The green sector of the economy is growing 10 times faster than any other sector. It will create jobs and a better economy for us, the future workforce. We’ll have a better environment and a better economy to get jobs when you graduate,” Rin said.
No on Prop 23 is garnering support, especially from students and the university. On Thursday, a resolution will be introduced to the ASUCD senate which will proclaim that the associated students oppose Prop 23.
“It’s important to show the senate that students do really care about it, and that students are behind this campaign,” Rin said. CalPIRG said they urge supporters to attend the senate meeting, located in the MU’s Mee room at 6:10 p.m. on Thursday, to show their support for getting this resolution passed.
Additionally, CalPIRG is trying to get more support through outreach events. They will host a pledge drive today and tomorrow to get 6,000 students to sign pledge cards promising to vote against Prop 23. Volunteers will be tabling at the MU patio and all around campus to educate students on this proposition.
Another student organization one will find tabling at the MU is the Prochoice Students for Boxer, a campaign run by the Feminist Majority Foundation. Barbara Boxer, a Democratic senator since 1993, is seeking a fourth term in office.
“We’re tabling all over campus to get more support from students. Last week we [tabled] at the MU and the activities fair. This week we’re tabling at the Silo, we’re going to do it at the Farmer’s Market,” said Ali Bollbach, organizer for the Prochoice Students for Boxer and president of Feminists for Equality. On Oct. 29, they will be doing a “Boxers for Boxer” tabling event, in which volunteers will be wearing boxers on campus to remind people to vote.
Today, Prochoice Students for Boxer is doing a silent coat hanger canvass on campus. They are hanging wire coat hangers in classrooms and around main buildings to symbolize back alley hanger abortions. This was a practice done before legalized abortion practices, in which women used wire coat hangers to do unsafe “at-home” abortions.
“The hanger demonstration is there to remind people to never go back to a time when these practices were done,” said Bollbach. “A lot of people don’t know how different things were [before women had a right to choose].”
Feminists for Equality, a UCD campus club, is also planning an information session on election issues. On Oct. 27, they will also be hosting an informational meeting about propositions and other balloted issues. This meeting will be held at 7:30 p.m. in the Cross Cultural Center.
In addition, Roosevelt Institute Campus Network (RICN) at UC Davis is hosting a debate on Oct. 28 to discuss broader political issues such as the budget crisis. On Nov. 12 and 13, they will also be hosting a conference at the ARC conference rooms to showcase student solutions and improvements on current policy.
“The point of the conference is to address the gaps in California governance with student research and solutions,” said Rajiv Narayan, RICN president and columnist for The California Aggie, in an e-mail.
“For example, I’ve published a policy piece on food stamps … I’ll be taking my proposal directly to the new crop of elected officials. Roosevelt is pretty good about connecting students with the relevant policy professionals interested in working with our ideas,” Narayan said.
Other organizations are using different strategies to reach out to students. Davis College Democrats (DCD) has been tabling at the MU to register voters and held a rally to support Jerry Brown, the Democratic ticket for the gubernatorial election. DCD has also been going out into the city every Saturday to educate voters individually.
“We’ve been walking precincts in Davis that are student-heavy, going door to door to talk to people and dropping off literature,” said Sam Mahood, DCD president. DCD will continue going out into the city up until Election Day, as well as doing phone banking to encourage others to vote.
Outside of campus organizations is Pancakes and Politics, a community event on Saturday. Organized by members of the community, this event invites volunteers to learn about a proposition or an office and share their information with the group over a plate of hot pancakes.
“Instead of getting election information through reading, it’s like going and talking to a friend about it over coffee, but on a much larger scale,” said Alan Miller, one of the main organizers for the event.
In past election campaigns, the group tried creative ways of outreach to the public, such as creating and distributing comic book voter guide on what people have discussed.
There are 24 positions, calling for 24 volunteers to sign up for Propositions 18 through 27, and 14 state offices.
With over 18,000 UC students registered to vote, part of the over 30,000 student voters from the UC and CSU systems alone, college students make up a large part of the voting pool.
“For a lot of these issues, if it doesn’t affect you personally as a student, it may affect your friends and your neighbors,” Bollbach said. “A lot of people don’t vote in the mid-November elections because it’s not as big. If enough students vote, students really could be a force to be reckoned with.”
SARAHNI PECSON can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.