If Cal State Fullerton’s voter turnout is anything like the free hot dog line at the Associated Students Inc. voter cookout, then the youth are showing a big appetite for politics.
The ASI-organized cookout was created to not only register students to vote in the November election, but also to inform them on various issues and to talk about the views of potential candidates for state Assembly and Congress.
In attendance were representatives giving information on various ballot propositions, as well as information about incumbent Ed Royce for congress, Fullerton Mayor Sharon Quirk-Silva for assembly, Jay Chen for congress and Loretta Sanchez for congress.
Chief communications officer for ASI and Cookout organizer Josue Rodriguez, 21, a radio-TV-film and public relations double major, said he is looking to boost CSUF student participation in the coming election.
“This will be the first time where I actually get to vote,” said Rodriguez. “But it’s just important to get your voice heard—every vote does count. There’s a lot of different propositions on the table that are going to be affecting students if they don’t go out and vote.”
Rodriguez said the ASI Cookout was a collaborative effort by ASI, ASI Lobby Corps and the Department of Government Relations to inform students on issues and candidates while also treating them to a hot dog or salad lunch.
ASI Lobby Corps is representative a group that advocates student voter turnout and also advocates various propositions that affect education, such as Proposition 30.
The biggest function of the ASI Cookout is to also get student voter registration to be at 10 percent. In order to accomplish this goal, ASI had laptops set up at the cookout where students could register to vote.
“It’s our aim to educate students about voting, getting students registered to vote, and this coming election we’re strongly pushing yes on 30,” said David Slusser, 21, an ASI Lobby Corps representative. “It’s all about making sure we keep the funding we have and that funding is actually getting subsidized from higher taxes for those who make $250,000 per year and the higher sales tax.”
Slusser said ASI Lobby Corps also advocates for Proposition 38 because it would benefit grades K-12 with more funds for programs.
Glenn Calderon, 21, a business major, attended the Cookout and said he knew about some of the propositions he would be voting for, specifically Proposition 30, because its outcome would directly affect CSUF students.
“I know I’m going to vote on Prop. 30, because there’s a lot of campus involvement and backing for that prop,” said Calderon.
Calderon also said whenever someone chooses not to vote, it is giving the actual voters more power over what changes our nation undergoes.
“I can make the decisions for (non-voters),” Calderon said. “I have some pretty outlandish ideas. I can make decisions for anybody—I’m fine with that.”
Also attending the Cookout were Kathy Moffat and Shereen Watter, members of the California State Fourth District PTA. Moffat and Watter were at the Cookout to encourage students to vote yes on Proposition 38, which proponents say will allocate money back into public schools.
“Proposition 38 is the education initiative and it will put $10 billion worth of additional revenue into schools every year for 12 years,” said Moffat. “We believe that this is transformational in terms of the potential to put back some of the things that have been cut from schools over the last four or five years.”
Watter said the proposition will guarantee more funds for public schools.
“It doesn’t go to Sacramento, it doesn’t go to the Governor, it doesn’t go to the legislature—it goes directly to our local schools,” said Watter. “An average of $1,100 per pupil per year. It’s a substantial amount of money to put back programs that our kids in the state of California have lost due to budget cuts.”
Moffat said it is important to reach out to voters because many are unaware of the intricacies of each proposition and that specifics can confuse the general public.
“I think there’s a lot of voter education needed, not only among students but among the general populace,” Moffat said. “We have complicated ballots in California and it’s a challenge to understand all of the specifics of all of these propositions, so we’re doing our best.”