Five UC Davis students have become student voices in the California Democratic Party as Assembly District delegates.
Six women and six men were selected at an event on Saturday at the Activities and Recreation Center to represent the eighth Assembly District for a two-year term. Each candidate gave a speech to present his or her ideas to voters.
Sam Mahood, a junior political science major and Davis College Democrat (DCD) president, stressed the importance of this election to the UC Davis student community.
“[By becoming delegates], we are actually part of the California Democratic Party. We will vote on endorsements, party leadership and represent District 8 at the state convention in April,” he said.
During their two-year term, delegates work closely with District 8 Representative Mariko Yamada. As such, delegates have an opportunity to influence the actions of the California Democratic Party using the opinions of UC Davis students, Mahood said.
“We are about student activism,” he said. “Students care about issues like affordable education and universal health care. We hope to act on behalf of those interests.”
The five chosen students are all part of DCD. Sierra Feldmann, a senior political science major and DCD vice president of communications, said DCD wants to represent the youth.
“DCD is working to foster young leadership, encourage voter education, promote political participation and fight the false stereotype of youth apathy,” she said.
Feldmann said the ability to act on behalf of an educated and politically aware youth is a unique opportunity.
“We are honored to be a part of a process that directly influences the California Democratic Party,” she said.
DCD organized a slate of six men and six women to run at the election, including activists and elected officials in addition to the five students. Feldmann said that DCD’s slate, which calls for “Real Progress … Real Action,” fully supports the California Democratic Party.
Voter turnout at the election itself was labeled as a success. Feldmann said that students made up roughly half of the vote – a fact DCD is proud of.
“We are very pleased with the outcome of the election. Student turnout was impressive, and the voting body was quite diverse,” she said.
Many UC Davis students are excited about increased youth representation in government. Emily Lakritz, a junior textiles and clothing major, is happy students can have a voice in the state government.
“I feel like many students have always had a passion for political activism but maybe haven’t had the opportunity to express it,” she said. “Having student delegates [to the California Democratic Party] makes their voice heard.”
Students interested in joining DCD or learning more about the election can attend their weekly meetings, Wednesdays at 6 p.m. in 216 Wellman Hall.
VICTOR BEIGELMAN can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.