Q&A with Young Democrats, Carmel Republicans Presidents

Zainab Idrees and Olivia Stock

Young Democrats: Q&A with Aanchal Agarwal

What is Young Democrats?

Young Democrats is a way to encourage other people and to foster their own activism. So it’s not so much about holding the democratic belief, (it’s about) how we can help support people on their journey towards becoming more political. And so that’s connecting you with opportunities, educating, facilitating discussions, just having a space to exercise those points.

 

 How has Young Democrats been supporting their cause, or candidates in upcoming elections?

 For supporting specific campaigns, we volunteer on campaigns. And the best ways to do that are through phone banks and lit. drops. So for phone banks, essentially, what you do is you volunteer to call voters and appeal to them about the candidate. There’s some software, which is really important. Another way that we can do that pre corona was canvassing where you go door to door knocking at people’s doors, talking in support of a specific candidate. But nowadays, with Corona, we do something called literature drops. And literature drops are basically when you have the literature or the flyers (for) the candidate. And then you just disperse them in a neighborhood door to door. So that’s what we’ve been doing primarily for candidates. That’s what candidates have been doing. In general, we just try to spread the word about candidates, have those important conversations with people in our daily lives, and encourage our members to do that. But yeah, that’s how we’ve been volunteering for campaigns.

 

Are there any events your club is doing in the near future?

 So this weekend is a big weekend for phone banking, to target those early voters, because early voting starts Tuesday. And so we’re planning to target people with especially their absentee ballots that should start coming in now. So Christina Hale has this phenomenal campaign team that are setting up a bunch of phone banking events. And so if anyone’s interested, I post all the opportunities on our Instagram @chsdemocrats. And you can sign up for a slot there. Otherwise, there are always literature drops, you just need a specific location, and their campaign team will handle that. And we’re also doing some voter registration efforts as well, which is making sure that everyone gets registered to vote. The deadline on that is approaching very, very fast. 

 

How can students who are interested get involved?

 I, myself am only 15. So ways away from voting, but you can still have that same passion and put that into activism. So I haven’t touched on this yet, but just supporting causes. Right now, we’re working up towards that November 3rd election, but there’s so much other things you can do. For example, there’s a climate strike a little while back, and it was really beautiful, seeing how strong the youth climate community is. We had incredible showings from high schoolers. We had some speakers and (that was) incredible. And again, helping out with voter registrations. If you know people, that’s a phenomenal way to do it. You can volunteer for a campaign at any age. And making sure you’re being vocal, because being vocal about your beliefs can have a surprising effect, when all of a sudden your friends are talking about these issues, your families are talking about these issues. You know, in the Starbucks line, you’re talking about these issues, it just creates a community of change.

 

How can people contact the club for more information?

There’s the Instagram @chsdemocrats, but there’s also the Remind. It’s @Dems20-21, I also put more specific opportunities on there. If people want to join the club, the registration link is in the bio of our Instagram. 

 

Carmel Republicans: Q&A with Chris Elmore

What is the Carmel Republicans club and what are your goals?

The Carmel High School Republicans, we have a few different goals. Our main goal is to facilitate a political discussion among all of our members. Our members range from being moderate Republicans to even being Democrats, so we have tons and tons of debate within our club about philosophy and government overreach and different policy positions, but beyond that we also work to promote our Republican ideals through community service. A few things that we’ve been doing are getting involved in drug take back days, which we partner with police stations and sheriff stations across the state and we wind up taking back over prescribed prescription drugs. 

 

How has Carmel Republicans been supporting their cause/candidates in upcoming elections?

As a school club, we’re not allowed to take any official club actions and put them towards the campaign, but what we do is we wind up sending out opportunities to go volunteer on weekends, and then I’ll go ahead and reach out to club members and see if they’re available to come out. So if there’s a state representative who needs people to help with door to door that Saturday we’ll all go ahead and send that opportunity out to different students. We don’t get involved in primary campaigns, sometimes we’ll have candidates come in and talk a little bit about their experiences and they’ll get connected and network that way, but we don’t support primary candidacies or anything like that. Every weekend we go out on Saturdays and we go ahead and support our Republican candidates with door to door, we’ve done phone banking before which is where we canvass voters over the phone on behalf of the candidates, and so those are a few ways we get involved in our local races.

 

Are there any events your club is doing in the near future?

It’s been a little bit slower this year than previous years with the pandemic and everything. We’re really just now getting more into a groove of getting out door to door and getting out to phone back and everything like that so we’re going to continue hitting those hard because that is what helps the most for local campaigns. So we’re going to continue doing that, there will be a few fundraiser events that we’ll have going on, not necessarily just for us but for candidates and campaigns around the area that we go ahead and try to mobilize students to get to and on top of that. I think the only other thing that I can really think of is we try to help our candidates with their digital footprint. So we would try to help them with getting Instagram and Facebook and posting on the regular, things like that.

How can students who can’t vote engage in politics?

Well there are a number of ways, you can go out door to door, you can go phone to phone, you can take part in these volunteer opportunities. But what we’ve noticed a high spike of in this past election year is the amount of high school interns local campaigns have been recruiting. So because of the work that the statewide High School Republicans has been doing we have a record number of high schoolers serving as interns for campaigns all across the state, not just in central Indiana. We have a number of Carmel High School Republicans serving as interns for various campaigns whether it was over the summer or through the general election or both, so those are the main ways I think students can go ahead and get involved with their elections. And also just engaging in conversation, I think there is such a stereotype that Republicans are unilateral and we all think the same exact way and think the same exact thing. Well I urge you to come to a Republican club meeting because we have people who are very far to the left and we have people who are on the right. So I think we all identify as Republicans but we all have different beliefs and we still want to share those beliefs in different ways.

 

How can students who are interested get involved?

Well they can go ahead and get involved, we have meetings every Monday from 4 to 5 in the Carmel media center rooms three and four so we’re doing that every Monday. They can also join our Remind by texting @carmelreps to 81010 and they can go ahead and sign up for all of our reminders through that. So that will let them know about any extracurricular club events we’re doing, any watch parties or anything we do like that, and all the opportunities that come as being part of the Carmel High School Republicans.

0