“The important thing is whether you are going out to vote,” said El Paso Community College (EPCC) Professor Manuel Mata. “That is how we have revolutions in America.”
Panelists from EPCC and the University of Texas at El Paso sat down to discuss pressing voter issues for this year’s midterm elections on Oct. 15, at EPCC’s Administrative Service Building.
Despite the 40 degree weather, the midterm panel open to the public was a success and had over 100 people in attendance.
BRITTANY MEDELLIN/ TEJANO TRIBUNE
Panelists from EPCC and the University of Texas at El Paso (UTEP) sat down to discuss
pressing voter issues for this year’s midterm elections Oct. 15, at EPCC’s Administrative Service Building.
Dr. Charles Boehmer, chairman of Political Science at UTEP discussed foreign policy, Mata discussed the importance of the Hispanic and youth vote.
Dr. Sylvia Peregrino discussed the surge of LGBTQ women’s presence in politics, and Dr. Jose Villalobos discussed Brett Kavanaugh’s recent admission to U.S. Supreme Court and partisanship.
“The election topic is attracting because it’s getting closer,” said government coordinator Dr. Sergio Saenz-Rivera. “People are enthusiastic about the elections, especially in El Paso.”
What is arguably one of the most interesting and enthusiastic races of the 2018 midterms is native El Pasoan and former representative Democrat Beto O’Rourke going against incumbent Republican Senator Ted Cruz. The race is being closely watched by political analysts and enthusiasts alike.
Despite the various topics, each equally relative as the last, a resounding theme of the discussion was voting and how important it is for the people who have a large impact on elections -- Hispanics, Blacks, and 18-25 year olds -- to show up at the polls.
This is especially important in a city where the population is primarily Hispanic.The panelists made an effort to not only educate, but motivate the audience to head to the polls for the midterm elections.
The discussion also had a unique way to maintain the audience interactive through the use of “clickers” where the audience was asked a question, voted, and responses were immediately displayed on the screen.This allowed for the speakers and audience to recognize where the majority of people stand when it comes to these issues and what they might need more information on.
“I hope those who people who perhaps didn’t know who Kavanaugh was or were undecided for who they would vote for took something from the discussion,” said Saenz-Rivera.
“We can’t take students by the hand. All we can do as teachers is plant the seed and it’s up to the students to water it.”Early voting in Texas begins on Oct. 22 to Nov. 2. Election day is Nov. 6.