Local candidates sound off

    In an effort to increase voter participation and awareness among UCSD students, the College Democrats held a rally in the Price Center on Oct 21.

    Anna MacMurdo
    Guardian

    The rally, called “”21,568 Votes,”” boasted speeches by San Diego City Council candidate Mike Zucchet (2nd district), Democratic Congressional candidate Del Stewart (52nd district) and Congresswoman Susan Davis (53rd district). They spoke in front of a backdrop spraypainted with phrases about issues of concern to UCSD students, such as freedom of expression. Voter registration tables were also set up in the Price Center.

    There are 21,568 undergraduate and graduate students at UCSD — hence the campaign’s name — and the speakers emphasized the power that a population of this size could have if all students were to participate in the electoral process.

    “”We need you to be out there active and involved and voting,”” Davis said. “”I want to challenge you to make your voices heard.””

    Anna MacMurdo
    Guardian

    Davis, whose district includes UCSD, attributed a large part of her victory in the 2000 election to UCSD students and their votes. She also mentioned the importance of the youth bloc in general, which statistically holds the smallest percentage of voters.

    “”Don’t let your professors decide the election for you,”” she said during her address. “”Get out and do it yourselves.””

    She also underlined the importance of voting for candidates who care about education.

    “”It does make a difference who you support on Nov. 5,”” Davis said. “”Will you be voting for someone who cares about higher education?””

    Stewart and Zucchet echoed Davis’ emphasis on the importance of student voter participation.

    “”The beautiful thing about America is that you can change things by going out and voting,”” Zucchet said. “”Don’t forget the power you all hold to control what happens in our government.””

    Stewart emphasized a major facet of his platform when he spoke on the importance of voting on environmentally friendly measures.

    “”We have the opportunity to solve problems that will affect humankind forever,”” he said.

    Three student speakers from UCSD organizations also participated in the event.

    Lindsey Desalvo, treasurer for the College Democrats, said the rally had a large impact on the number of voters registered. She approximated that 2,000 voter registration forms had been submitted during the previous week while the College Democrats were canvassing on Library Walk and on Oct. 21 during the rally.

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