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    ‘election’



    Meet The District’s New Democratic Mayoral Candidate: Muriel Bowser

    Thursday, April 3rd, 2014

    In case you’ve missed it, have been hiding under a rock or both, on Tuesday Washington, DC residents nominated candidate Muriel Bowser over current Democratic mayor Vincent Gray. Muriel Bowser, a native Washingtonian & daughter of community activist Joe Bowser, has been preparing for this moment all of her life. Ms. Bowser holds a Bachelor’s degree in History from Chatham College and a Master’s in Public Policy from American University.

    Ms. Bowser made her debut into Politics in 2004 when she ran for a seat on the Advisory Neighborhood Commission, where she represented single member district 4B09. She continued her political journey by serving as former Mayor Adrian Fenty’s campaign coordinator for Ward 4 and eventually running for a seat on the Council of the District of Columbia in 2007, 2008 and 2012. Since the inception of Bowser’s political career, she has been dedicated to open and ethical government. While serving Ward 4, Bowser brought legislation and a sensible approach to tackling crime, community development and quality education for DC residents and their children. In addition to those accolades, Bowser has served on various committees in the District such as: Committee on Public Services and Consumer Affairs and Committee on Public Works and Transportation.

    Bowser, ultimately made the call to run for mayor on March 23, 2013. As a result, Bowser has received endorsements from The Washington Post and EMILY’s list largely due in part to her “End Homelessness by 2015”, “Housing You Can Afford” and “Moving Forward On Education” campaign platforms. Bowser, champions her campaign approach for mayor as being a “fresh start” for the District.

    Although we still have about 5 months left until the general election, DC political history since 1973 has shown that once the democratic nomination for mayor is secured so is the election. In the meantime, the wait for Bowser’s “fresh start”has officially begun with many residents in the district who are excited about the possibility of her being selected to be the District’s new mayor.

    Gianna Judkins
    Bio: My name is Gianna Judkins& I'm a proud Angeleno. I'm also a Political Science Major at Howard University. I pride myself in being Michelle Obama's biggest fan and always being "FLOTUS Inspired”! As a Political Science major, my ultimate goal is to one day call 1600 Pennsylvania Avenue my office. I'm a very determined young woman who understands the power of education and value of hard work while striving to achieve my goal of being one of the nation's next great leaders. I'm not that serious all the time though, for fun I enjoying singing in the choir and hanging out with friends.

    Email the author at: blog(at)rockthevote.com



    Meet Carina

    Friday, October 25th, 2013

    We’re currently obsessed with Carina. She’s a first generation student at Old Dominion University and one of our esteemed Fellows working to Get Out the Vote in Virginia! If you’ve lost faith in the Millennial generation, it’s only because you haven’t met Carina yet. Shall we introduce you?

    • Give us a little background. Who are you? Where did you come from? Where do you go to college? What are you studying?

    My name is Carina Wicker. I’m was born in Norfolk, Virginia, but raised in Lynchburg, Virginia. I am a proud representative from both locations. Lynchburg and Norfolk have both made me who I am today. Right now I am a sophomore at Old Dominion University double majoring in Political Science and International Studies.

    • How did you first get involved with Rock the Vote?

    I got involved with Rock the Vote because I am currently the Director of Legislative and Diversity Affairs for the Student Government Association at Old Dominion University. Sam Menefee-Libey contacted me, and told me about Rock the Vote because of the work I have done in Student Government. I was incredibly excited about the opportunity because Rock the Vote sounded exactly what I was passionate about.

    • Tell us a little bit about your work as a RTV/CEEP fellow. What have you been doing to register voters? Do you have any cool stories to share? 

    As a RTV/CEEP fellow my main goal was to always inform the students about the true significance of voting. My co-fellow and I have worked endlessly with emails and tabling. We have tabled in the Old Dominion Student Union Center, or Webb Center, and grabbed students’ attention if only for five seconds to tell them about the power they could potentially have if they voted. We have reached out to different organizations and first year students to make sure all of them were ready for the Election Day. We had the awesome opportunity to work for the Lieutenant Governor Candidate Debate at Old Dominion. There we were recognized during the debate and then recognized by different news channels that recorded the debate. In my opinion, if I had gotten only one person registered or helped one person see how powerful their voice is, I feel like that is a successful run.

    • Tell us something inspiring about yourself

    Something inspiring about myself… Well, I am a first generation college student. I barely got any financial aid, and most defiantly did not have money coming out of pocket for school. I did not receive much help going towards college, so I completely relied on myself and God. I work two jobs, I have this fellowship, and I am a proud director of the Legislative and Diversity Committee at Old Dominion’s Student Government Association. I also work with Virginia 21, an organization where I represent the voice of students my age to leaders in government. Not to mention I am a full-time, double major student. I feel like opportunities only come when you are willing to work hard for it. I do not take no for an answer, and there are no such things as excuses, only solutions. My favorite quote that motivates me is “If you want to succeed as bad as you want to breathe then you will be successful.” -Eric Thomas. In life I want to inspire people to keep going forward, and even when you are exhausted, keep fighting. To the first generation college students who barely have any help, you can do it. Keep working and don’t allow yourself to make excuses. Do not take no for an answer, make your opportunities, and always remember that you CAN do it. 

    • Name one person who you think is changing the world.

    I believe that my generation is persistently working to change the world. I think a lot of people have goals to make this planet a little better than it is now. Those people who dedicate hours upon hours, work vigorously, and do not take no for an answer for their cause are the people who are changing the world.

    • What is the most embarrassing concert you’ve ever been to?

    I don’t think I’ve ever been to an “embarrassing” concert. I’m always so engaged in the music that even if something embarrassing happened to the performer I would not mind. My first concert was M83 then Twenty-One Pilots which both were a dream come true. I absolutely love them, and I’m actually listening to them right now as I type this. They inspire me greatly, and one day I hope to tell them both how incredible I actually think they are.  

    • Do you have any unique talents? 

    My unique talents would have to be that I can play the violin and I’m really good with a camera in my hand. I’ve played violin for nine years. The ability to make music is a blessing for me. I have shot photography for only five years, but I am passionate about it. Beauty sometimes is only a glimpse, and when I can catch that glimpse I get thrilled. 

    • If you had the attention of the entire population of American youth for 15 seconds, what would you say? 

    If I had the attention of the entire population of the American youth I would have to tell them how great life is. God gave you a great life, so live it. In life you need a passion, and when you have that passion work until you’re exhausted for it. That is when you will find happiness. Life isn’t easy, but it is worth it.

    austin@rockthevote.com
    Bio:
    @austin_estes
    Email the author at: blog(at)rockthevote.com



    Meet Summer

    Wednesday, October 23rd, 2013

    What’s the coolest job you can think of? Flight attendant? National Geographic photographer? How about Voter Advocate?

    Rock the Vote — in partnership with the Campus Election Engagement Project — has recruited a team of fellows across Virginia that are working on college campuses to register voters and educate their peers about the upcoming Virginia gubernatorial election. It’s the dream, I know.

    The media have us pegged as lazy, self-centered punks who can’t care about politics — but that’s only because they haven’t met any of our fellows. These fellows are the best of the best. They’re smart, they’re dedicated, they’re passionate, and we love them like family. Over the next few weeks we’re going to highlight some of our fellows and take a few minutes to brag about how cool they are.

    So why don’t we start by introducing you to Summer?

    • Give us a little background. Who are you? Where did you come from? Where do you go to college? What are you studying? 

    My name is Summer Gupta, most know me as Summer Siddiqui. I am from Woodbridge, Virginia. I go to Old Dominion University in Norfolk, Virginia , and I am a sophomore. My major is Political Science and my Minor is International Studies.

    • How did you first get involved with Rock the Vote?

    My best friend told me about it, she saw an email from Rock The Vote and the CEEP. She said she thought it was something I would be interested in so I took a look at the program and loved it so I applied to it!

    • Tell us a little bit about your work as a Rock the Vote fellow. What have you been doing to register voters? Do you have any cool stories to share?

    I have been setting up tabling events, doing class raps, canvassing, and a lot of visibility activities to get Rock The Vote’s name out there. My team and I have gotten several people to register and pledge. We are having a big Halloween party for those have volunteered, registered, or pledged with us here at Old Dominion University. It has been a pleasure working with Rock the Vote at our campus. We have several wonderful volunteers and professors who are engaging and stressing the importance of Voting.

    • Tell us something inspiring about yourself

    I have came along way in my life, with the support my two very amazing parents. they have been my role models, my motivation, and my strength for the past 19 years. I am who I am today because of my parents. My mother has a political and Law based background, I am following her footsteps. I wish to become a very successful political figure in the United States of America.

    • Name one person who you think is changing the world

    I cannot name one person, I believe that there are several people who are taking the stand and changing the world for the better in several different ways.

    • What is the most embarrassing concert you’ve ever been to?

    I took my little cousin to go watch the Sesame Street concert last year, and I knew every word to every song..that was probably the most embarrassing. 

    • Do you have any unique talents?

    I have major stage fright but when it comes to Indian dance, I forget anyone is watching and just do what I want. It is my ultimate stress reliever and it makes me really happy and feel positive about everything.

    • If you had the attention of the entire population of American youth for 15 seconds, what would you say?

    Do not take your life for granted, make something big out of yourselves. Education is the most beautiful gift you can give yourself. Do something with your life by giving others what they don’t have in their lives. Love, Respect, and Treasure your family, And most importantly, exercise every right you are given.

    austin@rockthevote.com
    Bio:
    @austin_estes
    Email the author at: blog(at)rockthevote.com



    News Round-Up: Tuesday, July 30, 2013

    Tuesday, July 30th, 2013

    President Obama negotiates on job creation; NC Governor signs abortion bill into law; Israeli-Palestinian peace talks commence; and Zimbabwe youth set to take to the polls. Meanwhile, Lea Michelle reacts to Monteith’s passing; Taylor Swift sings with Carly Simon; and preview for season 3 of Homeland is released.

    - Ally + Maura

    CRUCIAL

    With deficit negotiations at an impasse, Obama offers Republicans a ‘grand bargain’ on jobs, http://rtvote.com/1632bnU
    President Obama’s Tuesday trip to an Amazon.com distribution center prompts a proposal to invest in middle-class jobs. In order to see progress, the President will drop his former insistence on an individual tax overhaul. He will offer corporate tax cuts while demanding job creation.

    More than 100 teens rescued in weekend sex-trafficking raids, FBI says, http://rtvote.com/162Z92V
    Victims as young as age 13 were rescued in a nationwide sex-trafficking crackdown across over 70 cities. More than 100 teenagers were rescued, and 159 “pimps” were arrested. This was “the FBI’s largest action to date focusing on the recovery of sexually exploited children.”

    Pat McCrory Signs Controversial Abortion Bill Into Law, http://rtvote.com/13jIOIM
    After passing the state Senate and House earlier in July, North Carolina Governor Pat McCrory signed an anti-abortion bill into law on Monday. The bill eliminates abortion coverage for those covered by State or Federal health plans, imposes regulations on abortion clinics, and bans sex-selective abortions. During his campaign for Governor last year, McCrory said he would not pass additional restrictions on abortion.

    A guide to the 2013 Israeli-Palestinian peace talkshttp://rtvote.com/1630gQ4
    Peace talks began in Washington last night between Israeli and Palestinian officials. They are expected to last nine months. This article outlines what to expect of the process and outcomes.

    Swiss train crash: Driver’s body recovered after head-on train collision leaves 26 injuredhttp://rtvote.com/162Zt1A
    After two trains collided in Switzerland on Monday, 26 people were injured and one driver was killed. Switzerland is thought to have one of the safest rail systems in the world, but the event is striking, especially following last week’s deadly train crash in Spain.

    Youth, rural voters may hold key to Zimbabwe electionhttp://rtvote.com/19uSsvQ
    The influence of young voters is expected to be significant in tomorrow’s presidential election in Zimbabwe. In the first round of elections, neither candidate won a large enough margin of votes, thus leading to a second vote. Leading up to this second round, nearly 750,000 new voters have been registered (the country’s population is approximately 13 million). A representative of the Election Resource Centre says that “the winner will be whoever captures the new youth voters.”

    CULTURAL

    Lea Michele Breaks Her Silence: “Cory Monteith Will Forever Be in My Heart,” http://rtvote.com/13jJXQs

    Lindsay Lohan to Guest Host Chelsea Lately August 5!, http://rtvote.com/1630maG

    Taylor Swift Brings Carly Simon On Stage To Sing ‘You’re So Vain,’ http://rtvote.com/1630w1N

    1990 Things From The 90s To End The Nostalgia Once And For All, http://rtvote.com/1631jzG

    Homeland Season 3: First Trailer Teases Brody Trying to “Survive,” http://rtvote.com/1631Wcn

    Ally.f@rockthevote.com
    Bio: My name is Ally Filler and I am a Field Intern at RTV this summer! I recently graduated from McGill University where I studied Linguistics. In addition to marveling at the linguistic hotspot that is Montreal and eating many croissants, I assisted hundreds of American students in their quest to vote from abroad. I'm excited to be a part of such an amazing team here at Rock the Vote!

    Email the author at: blog(at)rockthevote.com



    How Can We Judge?!

    Wednesday, June 27th, 2012
    No, they are not elected officials.

    Yes, they can directly rule on policies that will affect you.

    Yes, the people we elect determine the climate of the rulings.

    Yes, you can control who sits on the courts.

    Well, if you haven’t already noticed, the court system federally has more power than you believe – particularly the highest court in the nation, the Supreme Court. Decisions are handed down each year, and whether you notice it or not, they do affect what happens socially, economically, and politically in our country. This week marks a huge moment in America, as the high court is releasing rulings on everything from the Affordable Care Act to immigration policy, to Citizens United. In case you don’t remember civics class, this court has the power of judicial review over any law passed by Congress, and reserves the right to rule on the constitutionality of laws or certain aspects of them. This power is immense, and the action in the Supreme Court this week goes to show the type of power the courts have in our country.

    Just look at the recent rulings that have so far been released: The court disagreed unanimously with the federal government that they did not need a warrant in order to attach a Global Positioning System device to any suspected drug dealer’s car and in efforts to monitor their movements; It rejected part of the highly controversial Arizona Immigration law, in particular it struck down sections that made it a state crime for immigrants not to register with the federal government and to make warrantless arrests of someone who is suspected of being deportable; The court reaffirmed a previous case with Citizens United by striking down a Montana law limiting corporate campaign spending, by saying that the federal Citizens United case applied to state laws as well; Lastly States are now barred from giving life sentences without parole to minors in all cases (including murder). These cases are monumental and directly affect many of your lives if you cannot already tell through the small descriptions given.

    Just because the figures in federal courts are not elected it does not mean that we do not have the power to choose who sits in these prestigious positions. Remember they are appointed by politicians that WE elect. Therefore, choosing someone that aligns with your policy goals will ensure that a judge is appointed with similar policy goals. This is important to consider particularly with the upcoming election. There is a high possibility that President Barack Obama or Republican nominee Mitt Romney will have the opportunity to see the retirement of two influential judges; Senior member Ruth Ginsberg and Justice Stephen Breyer. Therefore, they have the ability to recommend two new justices to sit on the high court. Their choices would shift the power in the court depending on who is appointed, which is something that should be highly considered by us voters.

    Who is appointed determines not only future rulings, but gives the nation an image of how the court will politically lean. Even though Judges are supposed to rule “fairly”, politics is still engrained in their thought processes. This will most definitely play a part in how cases are determined, and will affect the future of this country.  Just look at the recent rulings and also at the last one left for release. The ruling on the recently passed Health Care bill which is expected to be released tomorrow, will change the way in which the law will be implemented and how it will directly impact the lives of everyone in America who has insurance or is uninsured. This is reason enough to go out and vote, and really think about who you are electing into office when you cast your ballot on Election Day.

    Alston Neville
    Bio: Alston Neville is a Advocacy Intern at Rock the Vote. He is currently a junior at Duke University studying Public Policy, and African/African-American Studies. Also He is a North Carolina native hailing from Pittsboro.
    @Tha_Big_MAC
    Email the author at: blog(at)rockthevote.com