A political head start

Progressive Club and Green Team host event for students to pre-register to vote

On+Friday+May+13%2C+Bonita+Vista+High%E2%80%99s+Progressive+Club%2C+Green+Team+and+the+League+of+Women+Voters+organized+a+voter+registration+event+for+students.+Students+gathered%0Aaround+the+booth+with+interest+to+fill+out+a+pre-registration+voting+form.

Elie Cajes

On Friday May 13, Bonita Vista High’s Progressive Club, Green Team and the League of Women Voters organized a voter registration event for students. Students gathered around the booth with interest to fill out a pre-registration voting form.

On Friday, May 13, Bonita Vista High’s (BVH) Progressive Club and Green Team, along with the League of Women Voters put together a voter registration event for students during lunch. Students who were 16 years of age and older could pre-register to vote if they had their driver’s license or the last four digits of their social security number. 

President of Progressive Club and junior Lannah Garcia explains that the club organized the event to help students develop political literacy. Which is a collection of skills that includes an awareness of how government operates and the major issues affecting society, as well as the ability to analyze other points of view using critical thinking. When pre-registered students turn 18, they are already in the system to receive their voting ballot.

“[Putting on the event has] been cool because I enjoy taking part in the political system even though I can’t vote yet. I want people my age to get everything they need out of the way so they can automatically vote,” Garcia said.

To organize this event, Advisor of Green Team Jennifer Ekstein worked with parent liaison for Green Team and the Progressive Club, Michael Garrett. Garrett helped connect Ekstein with the League of Women Voters to put together a pre-registration event for BVH. The organization’s main goal is to help women voters learn about the effects of the laws they are voting for. 

“It’s really important that our students understand they have an amazing opportunity to change the political landscape,” Ekstein said.

This annual event is returning in person for the first time since distance learning. Ekstein pointed out that “not everybody gets to vote worldwide.” During distance learning when Ekstein promoted registration in her classes she would encourage her students through word of mouth. She also offered her classes extra credit if they completed their registration.

“There are a lot of important issues that we need to vote on in the next few years. The more you can increase your voter registration and political efficacy, the more voices are heard, “Garcia said.

There are a lot of important issues that we need to vote on in the next few years. The more you can increase your voter registration and political efficacy, the more voices are heard”

— Progressive Club president and junior Lannah Garcia

Both the Green Team and the Progressive club promoted this event through presentations in several of their classrooms throughout the week which is how junior and registered voter Jose Gonzalez heard of the event. Despite being turned down by some teachers to present in their classrooms, they continued to pass out flyers to spread the word about the event.

“Everyone should be able to state what they believe about how the government should be run. There’s a lot of people that say they’re not involved in politics or they don’t like politics, but I think it’s important to at least be aware of what’s going on. So promoting voting is helpful,” Gonzalez said.

Ekstien explains that there are a lot of important issues that are determined by the ballot. For example, solutions for climate change and fossil fuel use become propositions or laws through the representatives we vote into office. Ekstein has been a firm believer in creating change through voting since she turned 18. She believes that as a woman, it is important that every single person, regardless of race and gender, vote.

“If [BVH] wants to encourage students to become active agents of change, it’s important that they register,” Ekstein said. “[Being a US citizen] can’t change anything politically, unless you vote.”

 

The Crusader falsely identified Lannah Garcia as president of the Political Club in a previous version of this article. Garcia is president of the Progressive Club.

Updated May 27, 2022