Students Take Sides
Partisan Clubs form at Dos Pueblos
January 11, 2017
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This school year, two new clubs formed at Dos Pueblos: the Young Americans for Freedom (YAF) and the Dos Pueblos Democrats (DP Dems). YAF is a more conservatively aligned club, while the DP Dems are more liberal. This is the first time in recent history that partisan clubs have formed on campus.
YAF has engaged in several activities in support of veterans and police officers, having unofficially organized The Never Forget Project, a memorial for those that lost their lives on 9/11, as well as having put together “goody bags” as a thank you to local law enforcement.
DP Dems placed focus on generating political energy in the community prior to the election, encouraging and helping their members to volunteer for local politicians, participating in phone-banking for democratic candidates, helping with voter registration, and going door to door informing voters about their candidate of choice.
Junior Paige Maho, president of YAF, described the club as “very patriotic,” with the goals of “help spread the conservative message, help our local veterans and police officers.”
Maho placed additional emphasis on the importance of restricting immigration to the United States.
“Americans should be put first before anyone else, and our safety is the number one priority,” Maho said.
YAF exists in schools across the country, organized by Young America’s Foundation (also YAF). This foundation inspires the clubs with events to participate in and provides them with resources and support.
Junior Jack McKenna, co-president of DP Dems, described some of the core objectives of DP Dems as “protecting the environment and making sure everyone has an equal opportunity to succeed in life, not just those who are born on second or third base.”
McKenna underlined the importance of combatting climate change, stating that “nothing’s more important than the land we live on, and the environment we live in, and the ecosystem we live in. And if there’s no more ecosystem and no more environment because it’s been destroyed by us, then nothing else can go on.”
DP Dems is organized on a statewide level by California High School Democrats, an organization run by students to provide democratic clubs at high schools with a platform to expand from.
While both clubs have different viewpoints, both are intent on increasing political involvement at DP and in the community.
“I’m happy it was organized now, and I hope that it continues well into the future regardless of whether or not future elections are this contentious,” said Kelly Savio, English teacher, and DP Dems Faculty Advisor. “Because I think that students should always be interested in the political process, because students will be affected by our government. Whether they vote or not, they will be affected, so they should be involved.”
Savio emphasized that while she is an advisor to DP Dems, what she truly wants is more youth involvement in politics.
“Whichever side of the aisle you’re on,” Savio said, “you should be involved and you should care.”