Tag Archives: politics
If you, like me, have come to look forward to Maegan Vazquez’s “Young Politica” columns on Heartfeldt, you are going to miss her interesting take on the world through the students’ lens. During the past two semesters that she has interned for me, it has been my pleasure to see her grow and her writing develop.
Enjoy her last column here. I told her I predict we’ll be reading her in the Washington Post in a few years.
Today, airsoft rifles closely resembling AK-47s were found in the dorm room of a New York University student, according to the New York Post. The psychology student, Bernard Goal, 20, allegedly assembled and sold them for up to $500 each.
The story may not have been at the top of my radar (nor on the radar of the New York Post a few weeks ago, but in a post-Boston Marathon and post-MIT shootout world, I have become hyperaware of all things ammunition on campus—especially when that campus is my own.
As a member of the media, it would be naive of me to cite this as a reason for stricter gun laws on campus. Even I know that when in search for stories, a journalist often writes about what is most concerning to their audience at that moment in time. Right now, almost anything guns is a-go.
Up until recent events, campus gun laws were not an issue I was concerned with; mainly because my college doesn’t have a real campus. Rather, students take classes in buildings scattered across lower-Manhattan.
Posted in Leadership, Media, Politics, Power, Young Politica
Tagged gun laws, gun violence prevention, guns on campus, leadership, politics, power, women in politics
Monday night I attended the bipartisan Women’s Campaign Fund’s annual “Parties of Your Choice“.
As always, they begin with a raucous reception at Christie’s for several hundred guests, after which we all scatter around town for intimate dinners in beautiful homes. At each party, there are several WCF-endorsed candidates or elected officials who tell their tales and make their pitches.
Here are a few photos I took during the evening, which was peppered with chants of “Change the players. Change the game.”
Posted in Activism, Leadership, Politics, Power, Women & Politics, Women's History
Tagged leadership, No Excuses, politics, power, women, women in politics
Once again, we’ve waited until the last minute to try and fix our fiscal problems. This time, it’s the sequester that will go into effect on March 1st unless Congress acts.
If the sequester goes into effect, about one trillion dollars of federal spending will get cut—half of the cuts going towards defense ($42.7 billion). These cuts may cause furloughs in defense sectors (military, airport security) and other cuts may leave many teachers out of jobs.
About $3 billion of sequester cuts will go towards education. According to the National Education Association the sequester will result in:
- Services cut or eliminated for millions of students.
- Funding for children living in poverty, special education, and Head Start slashed by billions.
- Ballooning class sizes.
- Elimination of after-school programs.
- Decimation of programs for our most vulnerable—homeless students, English language learners, and high-poverty, struggling schools.
- Slashing of financial aid for college students.
- Loss of tens of thousands of education jobs—at early childhood, elementary, secondary, and postsecondary levels.
However, the education cuts can be made smarter in a smarter way.
For now, it seems that the fiscal cliff crisis has been temporarily adverted. The Senate and House approved the American Taxpayer Relief Act of 2012, which has prevented old budgeting from sending the country hurtling down the Fiscal Cliff.
But don’t get too excited. The battle isn’t over and in some ways it’s just beginning. The new deal, which is designed to keep our economy from another recession, increases taxing on the wealthy but has temporarily halted many changes in government spending.
In further detail, here’s what some of the new bill entails:
- Tax rates will increase for taxpayers with incomes higher than $450,000
- Changes in estate taxing was adverted
- Middle class has an extension on stimulus tax cuts
- Capital gains taxes increase to 20% for high earners
- Some estimates say the deal will provide bout $600 B in revenue over the next 10 years.
However, there’s been no real agreement on what should be done about government spending cuts.
Posted in Leadership, Politics, Power, Women & Politics, Young Politica
Tagged Gloria Feldt, leadership, politics, power, women, you, youth voters
As we sing the last hoorahs of 2012, young politicas and politicos everywhere may feel a bit of uncertainty over where the next year is headed. We’ve seen many victories for our interests, but what will newly elected policy makers do to ensure that they earn their keep?
And what’s next for us?
Here are my five hopes for young people and politics in 2013.
1. For young people to go from special report to necessary demographic in national media.
It seems that the results of the November election came as a shock to the media and pollsters. We have proved that we swing elections and that we here to stay. And our age group piques the interests of many demographics.
I hope that instead of getting a special write up in Huff Post College, we will make it to the front page.
2. For young people to remain politically active.
In the coming year, young people must remain engaged with the political process in order to remain relevant. Just as the media remembered us in the 2012 election, they can as soon forget about us in 2013!
Posted in Leadership, Politics, Power, Women & Politics, Young Politica
Tagged Democrats, leadership, politics, power, Republicans, Young Politicas, youth voters
Before the November elections, Secretary of State Hillary Clinton had already forthrightly assumed responsibility for the Benghazi debacle that resulted in the death of four Americans including much-admired Ambassador Chris Stephens’
But neither her statements nor subsequent departures of State Department officials has quieted the echo chamber of blame. The buck stops at the top, and an independent panel report found plenty of buck to lay on Clinton’s desk. She must own and start to fix the problems of inadequate security at US embassies before she departs.
Still, it’s hard to see the trashing of Susan Rice and the subsequent GOP drumbeat about Hillary Clinton as anything other than blatantly intended to discredit her stellar performance on the world stage this past four years and to mortally wound her candidacy (previously declared unbeatable by Newt Gingrich should she make a second presidential run in 2016.
As Meagan Vazquez points out in her “Young Politica” column below about Susan Rice, the facts are never just the facts but rather come laden with political and cultural meaning.
And by the way, I’m thrilled to tell you that Maegan is going to continue her column into the new year! So if you are one of the many followers of this smart column from a student’s point of view, we’ll return to publishing it on Mondays in 2013. See you then!
After the initial boredom post-election, the political media immediately focused on the eminence of the fiscal cliff. Since those talks are still going nowhere, media sought a new subject to sink their teeth into: Susan Rice and the secretary of state bid. Rice, who was being vetted to take over Hilary Clinton’s role as Secretary of State, has been the subject of scrutiny by some for being the ill-informed messenger to national media after the Benghazi terrorist attacks.
Posted in Leadership, Politics, Power, Women & Politics, Women's Rights, Young Politica
Tagged Hillary Clinton, john mccain, leadership, politics, Susan Rice, women in politics, Young Politica
Now that the election is over, many young voters will likely retire their ‘concerned citizen’ badge until presidential primaries start up again. Being a politically active young person, however, is more than just voting for a president. There have been dramatic repercussion in the last four years due to youth voter inactivity between presidential elections.
In our own instant gratification generation psyche, many of us thought we had already created change by electing one man into the U.S. presidential seat. When it came to the midterm races in 2010, there was a 60% youth voter decline from 2008.
If more of us would have voted in 2010, perhaps there would have been tremendous changes. Perhaps the youth vote would have decided the election like it did in 2012.
Isn’t the rip-and-tear of the House over the past two years, all the ‘gridlock’, worth taking a stance?
Since the U.S. reached the debt ceiling in late 2012 and the country’s credit rating was downgraded for the first time in history, talks of reaching a fiscal cliff have loomed.
The fiscal cliff is a term used to describe what will happen after the start of the new year if there is no budget reform. If Congress does not reach a deal extending tax cuts by the time the Budget Control Act of 2011 goes into effect, taxes will be raised for anyone in the workforce. The result may be another recession.
How can it affect you?
If congress does not reach a deal, $661 billion in new tax hikes will start affecting your first paycheck (a two percent increase) after January 1st. On January 2nd, $78 billion in sequester hikes will begin cutting on some government and private sector workforces, likely causing layoffs and budget cuts.
How can this problem be solved?
In recent U.S. presidential elections, there has been a bipartisan effort to engage youth voters. The effort has been seen in candidates’ web/social media efforts, the recent upsurge of multi-party activism on campus, and the growth of youth organizations promoting youth political involvement.
It’s quite a change, given that we college students were more likely to be shooed away from the speaking platform in the 1960′s and 1970′s.
After a low youth voter turnout in 2010, projections for the youth vote in 2012 seemed to be less than that of the momentous turnout in 2008. Democrats made it a point to make the youth vote become an important factor in the 2008 election, but as many students, saw soon after inauguration day, change didn’t come as easily as we had expected. To many voters’ surprise, the youth vote was higher in 2012 than it was in 2008.
Paul Ryan’s dig on fading Obama posters may have been a bit extreme, but it did shed light on the election’s youth voter’s perspective, and the voter climate overall. Would the next four years be worth the another Obama term? Would change for our generation be financially sustainable?
This election was far different from the 2008 election that promised some generic change. It wasn’t about who had the spiffiest graphics or best campaign t-shirts. It was about our future, about how much we would have to pay in loans after college, about what jobs we could find, and about what our futures would shape into.
Posted in Election Watch, Leadership, Politics, Power, Women & Politics, Young Politica
Tagged election, leadership, politics, power, young voters, youth voter turnout