Lawmaker stresses youth and minority activism in politics

Representative Loretta Sanchez (D-Calif.) described her vision for the 21st century to a crowd in the Marvin Center ballroom Tuesday, stressing the importance of youth activism and her aspirations for the Democratic Party.

She said U.S. policy-makers should represent all their constituents, including young people and minorities.

“There are some of us who have a commitment to get younger people elected at all levels of policy-making,” Sanchez said. “Until we get people who represent the world, the policies of the U.S. are not going to change with the people.”

Sanchez spoke at the opening event of the GW Youth in Politics Speaker Series. The event was also the kickoff to Hispanic Heritage Month.

“We are really excited to be a part of this event tonight,” said GW College Democrats President Anjan Choudhury. “It is going to be one of the biggest events on campus for Hispanics.”

GW CDs, the Program Board, Latinos for Progress, the sorority Latinas Promoviendo Comunidad, and the fraternity La Unidad Latina worked together to sponsor the event.

“I thought that this was amazing,” junior Sandra Gutierrez said. “I’m Latina, and I thought that Sanchez was an excellent public speaker. It’s great to get so many youths involved. It was a big turnout.”

Sanchez spoke on a variety of issues. She said the 21st century is already here, and technology skills are important. Sanchez said the Democrats have done a good job of promoting the teaching of these skills and working on other educational issues.

Sanchez said she would like to see Democrats gain control of the House in the next election. Only five seats remain between the Democrats and the Republicans.

Sanchez said she would like to see some things remain the same after the year 2000, including a Democratic president and legislation that keeps the economy strong.

“The dimension of the world has changed,” Sanchez said. “It’s important who is on the Internet. It does not matter if they are Chinese, purple, or have big hair. On the Internet, it is about equality.”

“Nothing is getting done in the House,” Sanchez said. “Why? Because (the Democrats) don’t control it.”

Sanchez said her family helped her win the election. Everyone pitched in, and they had about 600 volunteers. Her door-to-door campaign reached 65,000 households. She said every vote mattered. Sanchez the Latino vote accounted for 20 percent of all votes in her election.

“People saw the votes being counted, and then they saw that their vote counted,” Sanchez said.

“This was my first political speech, and it was the most moving speech I have ever heard,” sophomore Gloria Benalcazar said.

Senior Aaron Spool said he was unimpressed with Sanchez.

“Sanchez seemed like a nice lady, but I think that she is anti-elderly,” he said. “I think that the elderly have a lot of experience, and that is why they represent our country. I find that she is demeaning to anyone over the age of 40.”

At the end of Sanchez’s speech, Choudhury presented her with a CD T-shirt.

“We really show that the Democratic Party reaches out to anyone and everyone,” Choudhury said. “You should be proud to be Democrats.”

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