Wednesday, November 7, 2012

Yale Daily News - Elections Efforts

Political groups tense around election

Photo by Corinne Kentor.
Yesterday, members of the Yale College Democrats and Yale College Republicans donned T-shirts, buttons and, in some cases, war paint, as they prepared for the culmination of more than a year and a half of work. It was Election Day.
More than 18 hours later, the Dems raucously celebrated President Barack Obama’s victory over Republican presidential candidate Mitt Romney. It was a “truly joyous occasion,” said Brinton Williams ’16, who added that the Dems members around him were yelling and hugging one another. Gathered in the AEPi house on Crown Street, the young liberals cheered as states turned from undecided grey to Democratic blue, filling in their own hand-drawn version of the United States electoral map with red and blue Sharpies. Gathered in the Silliflicks theater on the other side of campus, members of the Yale College Republicans said they were supportive of Obama as American citizens, but that they were not optimistic about his second term. The atmosphere among YCR members throughout the night was initially “tense, but hopeful,” according to Austin Schaefer ’15, vice chairman of the Yale College Republicans, but members grew increasingly anxious as more results were announced, booing television reports on Fox News, their outlet of choice, as more states fell to the Democratic incumbent.
Members of both organizations spent the morning and afternoon of Election Day urging registered voters to go to the polls and canvassing neighborhoods throughout Connecticut, Massachusetts and Pennsylvania, said the two organizations’ presidents. Each added that the campus groups were very concerned with the Connecticut Senate race, which had the potential to swing in favor of either Democrat Chris Murphy or Republican Linda McMahon.
“Most of the [Dems] volunteers are working on Connecticut and the Murphy campaign,” said Zak Newman ’13, the president of the Dems.
Schaefer said being able to support a Republican candidate in a traditionally blue state enabled his group to “be actively involved and make a difference.”
Yale College Republicans chairwoman Elizabeth Henry ’14 said Election Day found her more excited than ever to be a young Republican.
Both groups took steps to transmit that enthusiasm to Yale’s student body. Beginning at 5:30 a.m. Tuesday morning, Newman said, the Dems divided their resources and volunteers among the 12 residential colleges to ensure high student turnout. Volunteers spent the first hour of Election Day posting cards on student doors encouraging all registered Connecticut voters to “Vote Obama, Vote Murphy, Vote Today.”
Two and a half hours later, a group of Dems went to cast their ballots. Ben Healy ’16, a Dems member, said he and other volunteers spent the rest of the day reminding students to vote by going door-to-door throughout the Yale campus and calling registered students on the phone to offer them rides to the polls.
“The best part of today [was that] the response I heard most frequently was ‘I already voted,’ ” Newman said.
The Dems were not alone in their efforts. MeCHA de Yale worked throughout the course of the campaign to combat voter suppression among Hispanic voters in Fair Haven, Conn., said group leader Diana Enriquez ’13. She added that groups like hers enabled students who did not necessarily have a direct interest in working with either of the major parties on campus to still get involved in the political process by helping to educate voters in the Latino community.
Meanwhile, activist organization Students Unite Now also joined with the Dems in efforts to get out the vote, Williams said.
By midnight on Tuesday night, the Dems were in high spirits, while the Republicans looked pessimistically on the next four years.
“I think it’s a really regrettable thing that Obama has won a second term,” said Alex Crutchfield ’15, a Republican student. “Over the past four years, he has not made policies that are good for America.”
Rafi Bildner ’16, who spent the past year working in the finance department of the Obama campaign, disagreed. He said he flew to Chicago Monday night to help out at Obama HQ on Election Day.
Bildner said he sees students as having an even larger impact on this election than they did in 2008. Newman said he agreed, adding that the large turnout among Yale students — which was higher than in 2008 — indicates the success of on-campus organizations like the Yale College Republicans and the Dems.
“At the end of the day,” he added, “I think we know we did our job well.”
Obama received 60.4 percent of the vote in New Haven county as of press time.

Tuesday, November 6, 2012

Obama wins.

60 spanish speaking canvassers
17 hours running the ward 1 NHV polls
hours on the phone turning out voters and volunteers
emails with offers of help with Spanish homework for life

and one evening sitting on the floor watching the states get called until Obama won and we all danced until we were going to fall over.

With two of my closest friends...

He won. I cried laughed and screamed all at once.

Four more years. Here we come.

Election Day -- 2

10:00am -- passed 300 voters

Sending 60 shifts to Fair Haven to canvass today. We need to end voter suppression. We've already run into several cases where canvassers on the other side told voters that they could not vote today because their only form of an ID was a recently expired drivers license. Others were told their votes would not count or didnt matter.

Your vote matters. Turn out today.

Then call Colorado/Ohio through the Obama website and make sure those dems turn out to vote. We need everyone!

Election Day! -- Morning

4:15 am -- Wake Up. Run into a college student just going home from his all-nighter. He asks if I'm just starting or just ending and I tell him that I'm headed to the polls for the day

5:00 am -- arrive at polling station, tape signs in 27 Degree weather (tape starts disintegrating, adapt with creative measures of attaching signs to the trees)

5:55 am -- the first voters try to come in and vote, we assure that that it will be soon but they cannot come in yet.

6:00am -- first 5 voters go through.

8:00 am -- we've passed one hundred voters and the lines are growing.


Monday, November 5, 2012

One Day to E Day

I woke up and my computer and phone pinged, letting me know that there is only one more day until the election. Thanks, I really wasnt sure when it was... haha

The number of emails calling for canvassers, volunteers, phone calls, last minute efforts has gone through the roof. I apologize to anyone whose emails I've read and forgotten to respond to. I am working the polling station for Yale students all day tomorrow and getting excited for it. I dont know how anyone will be able to sleep tonight.

My friends abroad keep emailing me and asking me what to expect tomorrow. Instead of working on some homework I need to turn in soon, I ended up predicting the states as follows (for the presidential election). Let's see how much of this I get right.

So. Today, make some calls. Tell your friends to turn out tomorrow. let's get out the vote!

Sunday, November 4, 2012

Diary of a Democrat

Current status: worry about polls. Check polls. Read election coverage for Ohio and Colorado. Think I read the polls wrong. Check polls. Check other sites for other polls. Still the same. Damn. Better than yesterday. Make calls for Colorado voters to turn out. Check polls. Canvass latino communities and make sure they know that they can vote and where they need to go to vote. Write emails to other volunteers. Check polls. Read coverage. Pretend to do other work. Worry about the polls. Make plans for Tuesday night to watch the states get called. Worry about election day. Check polls.


Friday, November 2, 2012

Design Your Own Path

ENRIQUEZ: Design your own path

It’s telling that a year later, Marina Keegan’s piece on consulting and banking recruitment, “Even Artichokes have Doubts,” continues to ignite heated conversations across campus and the country about campus recruitment and the jobs we take once we leave Yale. The piece left us questioning what we value, how we measure our own impact and what we want to learn along the way.
I didn’t go through the consulting and banking interviews many of my friends did this past year. I spent my summers working in rural Mexico on development projects and running around Colombia doing research on drug cartels for my senior thesis. My value system developed through these on-site experiences, because I learn better from full immersion into my projects than I do behind a textbook or my laptop. I grabbed these opportunities when they were offered to me because I wasn’t sure I’d ever have these chances again.
The most interesting people I’ve met at Yale are the unconventional ones. The ones who didn’t follow the rules and instead made their own. The ones who skipped down the path written out for them or forged their own way. The ones who aren’t afraid to be different and push beyond the expected in their fields — whether this is in engineering, philosophy or social sciences. There is something to be said for people challenging the accepted order of things.
It feels like the big question on all of our minds, and especially the anxious seniors, is how we get to the next step. Once we leave, how do we realize the larger projects we have in mind — the ones we developed while we had time to explore at Yale?
It requires a certain confidence to accept uncertainty, to accept being different. I’m talking about those people in your sections, your seminars and your afternoon activities whose eyes light up when they talk about their ideas and projects. How do we hold on to these interests and turn them into our future projects? As we begin the job search, we are also figuring out how best we can put these ideas into practice.
Personally, I have come to understand that my future job will require me to pitch my own ideas, and to me this is both terrifying and exciting. I spent my break talking to people who were doing work that I found interesting. I learned about the pros and cons of working in think tanks and living in various cities. I asked about what work life was actually like and how much people could control in their daily lives. I asked about skill sets and what people hoped to get out of their current jobs. It’s all given me a better way of understanding what I am looking for in a work environment.
One statement came up over and over again in these conversations: the single career path no longer exists. You will probably change jobs several times over the course of your lifetime, and each one will teach you something you need to take on to the next round.
This is exciting. It means we don’t need to have that 10-year plan carefully laid out and set in stone right now. You have the chance to work on all kinds of projects and talk to interesting people, but you also need to keep pushing yourself to come up with new ideas.
We came to Yale as individuals, each with something to offer to our classes as a whole. Over time it gets more difficult to give these unique traits the same degree of weight, and we may be tempted to conform and give them up. But make a promise to yourself here and now:
Celebrate everything that makes you unusual. Because that individuality is what will help you find your first job and your space in whatever community you find yourself after Yale. It’s up to you to decide what impact you want to have in the world, and how you’ll measure it along the way.