As Arizona gears up for a busy midterm election season, ASU students call for local campaigns for Tempe City Council
Ahead of mid-term 2022, ASU students and student groups are getting involved in local government after more than a year of advocating for social justice and the previous electoral cycle through campaign events.
The local elections, which begin next March, are drawing the attention of students who want to get involved, especially in the race for Tempe city council, in which three seats are to be vacated and filled by summer 2022 with candidates serving four-year terms.
Cameron Adams, president of ASU Young Democrats and a student of global studies, said the aftermath of the 2020 election motivated people, especially students, to get involved in local government.
“I think a lot of people have realized over the last year how much the city controls the police budget, the resources that we have in the city, making sure it’s clean – everything,” said Adams.
According to the Institute for Democracy and Higher Education at Tufts University, the student voting rate at midterm 2018 was 40.3%, up from 19.3% in midterm 2014 The increase signals a potential increase in the student voting rate midway through 2022 – an election season that will have all of the state’s executive offices on the ballot.
These local seats, especially those in Tempe, have a bigger impact on students than any national headquarters, Adams said, which is why she chose to get involved in canvassing for Casey’s second campaign. Clowes for Tempe City Council.
The Clowes campaign is focused on sustainability, reducing traffic by improving transit and expanding affordable housing.
“We have a lot of the same ideas for Tempe so I continue to support and help her now that she runs another time,” Adams said.
Canvassing involves candidates going door to door to reach voters in person rather than through television or social media ads. Candidates for Tempe City Council are currently seeking signatures to put their names on the ballot.
Nicole Maestas, junior political science student, and John Adamson, senior political science student, campaigned for the Tempe City Council campaign of Berdetta Hodge because they believe in the importance of being involved in the community in which they go to school.
According to Hodge’s campaign website, she hopes to modernize the city’s infrastructure, provide more affordable housing options and attract businesses to the downtown area.
For Maestas, it’s about contributing to the community she benefits from, especially since Tempe is not her hometown.
“I think if you move here to go to school, you have a duty to the space around you, the people around you and the community around you that welcomes you,” said Maestas.
She also highlighted the ease of canvassing as a method of support for students who cannot afford to donate to a campaign or who are not registered to vote in Maricopa County.
“It’s just super easy, you can just show up when you have some free time, and if you can’t, that’s okay,” Maestas said. “It’s one of the less committed ways to get involved, especially for people who don’t really have a lot of money. I can’t donate to a campaign, but I can donate a few hours.
Adamson, who is the political director of the Arizona Young Democrats and Hodge’s campaign manager, said it was important to be aware of decisions made in the community that will affect the university. He cited the case of the conflict between the Mirabella apartment complex and Shady Park as a prime example of why students should pay attention to local government.
After ASU built an elderly community just steps from Mill Avenue, residents began to complain about the noise from Shady Park, a popular concert hall, encouraging students and other members of the community to show off. their support via a petition for the company.
“You belong to ASU, you interact with ASU all the time, but you are part of this bigger community,” Adamson said. “And believe it or not, even if you are not involved, decisions will be made about you and your life on campus by the local government.”
Adams, Maestas and Adamson said they hope ASU students look for ways to get involved with their local government and have offered advice to students who don’t know where to start.
Maestas suggested reaching out to peers who are politically involved, while Adams and Adamson stressed the importance of showing up at events hosted by clubs like ASU Young Democrats, ASU College Republicans or even local legislative meetings. .
“Just show yourself in front of things,” Adamson said. “This is where you get opportunities, where you meet candidates, where you work with other like-minded people in the community. “
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