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2011 October

September Recap and Sneak Peek

On October 9, 2011, in Activism, by Janine Balekdjian

Hello Democrats and readers!

The Columbia Democrats have had a very, very busy September.  So busy, in fact, that we’ve had no time to update our website.  Sorry about that.  The upswing in campus activism is truly inspiring!  Here are a few of the things we’ve been up to:

The Dems partnered with the Black Students Organization to organize a vigil and day of silence for Troy Davis after he was killed.  Over 250 students came, and Media Director Sarah Gitlin wrote an op-ed afterward about how Troy Davis’ death shows why the death penalty should be ended.  We also elected Freshman Representative Zoe Ridolfi-Starr, who was inaugurated with about 150 emails organizing the vigil (and rose to the challenge wonderfully).

We started Feminist Mystique, Columbia’s feminist magazine dedicated to feminist issues that matter to young people.  We are accepting submissions and pitches; email editors@feministmystique.org with ideas!

Alma’s List, the CU Dems’ feminist caucus, publicized and brought dozens of Columbia students down to New York’s SlutWalk, a march against rape culture, slut-shaming, and victim blaming.

The Board attended a fundraiser for Iowa congressional candidate Christie Vilsack, and met Congressman Steve Israel and President Bill Clinton!

Tomorrow, we are bringing a group of Columbia students down to the General Assembly of the Occupy Wall Street movement to help shape this grassroots movement to reflect the needs of students who will soon be looking for jobs.

The Activist Council has been in full swing, preparing for this fall’s campaign trip to Ohio.  We will be campaigning against Ballot Issue 2, which would restrict unions’ collective bargaining rights (similar to the bill in Wisconsin which caused so much controversy earlier this year.)  Sign-ups are open, and tomorrow, we are having  a discussion with Professor Dorian Warren about labor issues.

As busy as we’ve already been, we have much more on the docket for this semester.  A few of our upcoming events are:

  • The campaign trip – of course
  • A lobby trip to support the GENIUS Act, which would promote foreign language and culture education in American schools.
  • A protest of the FDA’s ban on accepting blood from men who have sex with men
  • A defense of NYC abortion clinics against anti-choice protestors
  • A debate with the Columbia Republicans on the minimum wage
  • A fall carnival!
  • A Halloween mixer with the Columbia Republicans, Columbia Political Union, and Columbia International Relations Council and Association

And *drumroll* Congressman Steve Israel, head of the Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee, will be speaking at Columbia on November 18th!  Stay tuned for more updates.

If you have an idea you want the Dems to get involved with, come to our general body meetings at 9 PM on Wednesdays on Lerner 5, or our Activist Council meetings in 628 Kent at 5 PM on Sundays.  And don’t forget to sign up for the campaign trip!

The Dems with Bill Clinton!