By: Michelle Chance
On Oct. 22, Arizona candidates running in the general election spoke to Mesa Community College students during the Turn Up the Vote event held on the theatre lawn.
Organized by the National Association for the Advancement of Colored People (NAACP) chapter at MCC in conjunction with the Associated Students of Mesa Community College (ASMCC), the event gave students the opportunity to register to vote and interact with candidates.
“The overall goal is to excite the youth, get them ready for the future, and let them know that we are the leaders of tomorrow,” said William Ortega, President of the NAACP.
Martin Cordova, President of ASMCC, said that student government had also planned to do an event to encourage students to vote, so when Ortega came to him with the idea for Turn Up the Vote on campus, they decided to build the event together.
“Get involved with the election and get educated,” Cordova said, during his speech. “At our age we definitely can make a difference.”
Jeff Dewit, the Republican nominee for Arizona Treasurer, is running unopposed in the general election.
Nevertheless, Dewit still spoke on the important role students play in elections.
“Make sure you are registered to vote, it is the most important thing you can do no matter who you’re voting for or what side you agree with, you have to vote,” Dewit said.
Democrat, Steven Zachary, who is running for Arizona Senate in Mesa’s legislative District 25, said that his most important campaign issue was ‘lifelong learning.’
“Unfortunately in this state, we have ignored the opportunity of lifelong learning. I want to be able to fight for learning,” Zachary said.
Monica Goddard spoke at the event for her husband Terry Goddard, who was unable to attend. Goddard is the former Arizona Attorney General who is currently running for Secretary of State as a Democrat.
“What Terry wants to do is keep the Secretary of State’s office non-partisan. It shouldn’t matter whether you have a ‘D’, an ‘R’, or an ‘I’ after your name you should all be treated equally and the Secretary of State’s office should not be endorsing candidates,” Goddard said.
Brenda Gifford, AZ Committee Chairman for the anti-sex trafficking organization, Run Against Trafficking (Rat Race AZ), spoke at the Turn Up the Vote event while the Human Trafficking Awareness Day event that was held the same day took place at the clock tower courtyard at MCC.
Gifford spoke on the importance of sex trafficking intervention, rescue and research.
“This is something that we should be talking about, because it is never okay to buy another human being,” Gifford said.