Local politicians attend Democratic debate watch

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Local politicians are eager for young people to get involved in the political process, and they’re showing it by making appearances on campus.

 

The UVM College Democrats hosted a Democratic debate viewing party Feb. 11 and several local politicians came to watch as well as make their pitches for students to vote in the local primary in August.

 

In attendance were two of the three Democratic candidates for lieutenant governor, State Rep. Kesha Ram and State Sen. David Zuckerman.

 

Each candidate spoke about their experience in politics. Both Zuckerman and Ram are UVM graduates, and ran for office during their respective senior years.

 

“I started out as nobody at UVM. Then I joined SGA and was president of a club that no longer exists on campus,” Ram said. “My senior year I ran for office and won. Who knew a girl like me from California could be where I am today?”

 

Both Zuckerman and Ram urged students to get involved and vote in not only presidential races but local elections as well.

 

Ram expressed her hope that young people take their energy and excitement for the presidential race, and in particular for Sanders, and bring it to other elections because they “have big effects on our lives, too.”

 

Zuckerman emphasized the importance of voting since in his first election he lost by only 59 votes.

 

He also advised students to get engaged in politics beyond voting.

 

“Bills aren’t passed just by voting in November,” Zuckerman said. “If people stay engaged and push Congress, there’s potential for more change to happen.”

 

Laura Subin of the Vermont Coalition to Regulate Marijuana and State Treasurer Beth Pearce also attended the viewing.

 

The president of the UVM College Democrats, senior David Oppenheimer, said it was easy getting local politicians to attend the event because they want to meet students.

 

“I think the excitement is there so it’s about getting educated [on candidates and issues],” Oppenheimer said.

 

The College Democrats were also registering students to vote at the debate and during the day in the Davis Center.

“We’ve registered about 30 students so far, and we’ll be back again next week,” Oppenheimer said.

 

He said students should register to vote in Vermont while at UVM.