Let us introduce ourselves: we are the Penn Democrats, the most active political group on campus. Each semester, we host a variety of Democratic speakers, campaign for candidates, and hold issue advocacy events—all promoting our beliefs and our political party.
Because it’s such an important year politically, we’re making our voices heard across campus. Each week this semester, the Penn Dems will publish a column sharing our views about various issues, candidates, campaigns, and more. As you may know, we are currently in an election year, so incumbents and challengers across the country are working to be elected as congressmen, senators, and, as in our great state of Pennsylvania, governors.
That’s right folks, on November 4th a governor will be elected right in our own backyard (not literally; we’ve all seen what happens in some of Penn’s backyards and it’s not pretty). Personally, we’re hoping that Democrat Tom Wolf unseats the incumbent, Tom Corbett – but more on that later.
We’ll get into the political nitty gritty in later weeks, but for now we’ll explain why we’re Democrats and why you should care. To put it simply, as we’ve grown up, we’ve decided that the beliefs and values of the Democratic Party are the ones with which we most strongly identify.
As millennial college students, we feel responsible for helping to put the United States on a strong, progressive path. To us, this includes a government that fulfills certain responsibilities to all its citizens.
We believe that every citizen of this country should have access to comprehensive health care coverage. We maintain that no child should go without a meal, nor any veteran without a home.
We think that people should be free to marry whom they love, regardless of their sexual orientation. We want women to be treated equally: they should see equal pay for equal work and should have freedom to control their own bodies.
We feel that immigration reform is necessary because the United States has always been and must continue to be the land of opportunity.
We want our planet to be clean, for us and for our children. And we want to be able to pay for college without having crippling debt that we carry for the rest of our lives.
These issues don’t only affect those of us who read The New York Times every day. They affect us all.
Believe us, we’ve seen our friends’ eyes roll as soon as we bring up politics. We know you’re tired of our political Facebook statuses, and we’re aware that talking about the Affordable Care Act is nowhere near as interesting as talking about the Chancellor day party. But these things matter. Political issues affect us as students and as future members of the workforce; they affect our parents, particularly as they get closer and closer to the age of Social Security; and they will affect our children in the future.
We all share the responsibility to care, and to vote for the people who will represent our values.
Our members did not all have the exact same upbringing. We’re from across the country, across religions, across races, and across socioeconomic backgrounds. We weren’t all raised as Democrats, and we don’t have identical political views. But we all know one thing: the way of the future is progressive—moving forward, not back.
If you agree with us, come join us at an event. If you think we’re wrong, leave a comment on here or at penndems.org. All we ask is that, as we enter into these crucial months, you stay interested and informed. We can’t wait to continue this discussion with you.
The Penn Democrats Executive Board
Note: This piece was originally published as a column in The Daily Pennsylvanian.