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Michael Wilhelmi energizes Young Democrats group
November 4, 2018
With the election for governor of Minnesota right around the corner, it is important that each candidate gets all the votes he can. Michael Wilhelmi came to speak to the Young Democrats on the morning of Oct. 10 to influence the Young Democrats to get involved and help out the Tim Walz Campaign.
Young Democrats is a group of students and peers who aims to inform and educate students on current events, issues, locally and nationally. Michael Wilhelmi is a member of the Board of Directors of Washington County Historical Society, and is working for the Walz Campaign. He came to the high school to talk with students about the Walz Campaign, and why they should get involved in politics. Wilhelmi told the young democrats that they can help with the Tim Walz campaign by going to phone banks to talk to people and try to get them to vote for Tim Walz.
“Earlier in the campaign it’s more like, have you heard of Tim Walz, but at this point it’s more about making sure people will actually go vote for Tim Walz,” senior and co-president of the Young Democrats Maryn Johnson said. Another way the students could help with the campaign was to volunteer for a party for Tim Walz in Stillwater. “They had a party for Tim Walz in Stillwater at someone’s house. They were asking for volunteers,” Johnson said. Wilhelmi not only cares about Walz winning the election, but he also wants to influence the youth to get involved in politics.
“If you want to make a change, you should actually get involved in what’s going on,” senior and Young Democrat co-president Torianna Eckles said about what Wilhelmi talked about at the meeting. Maryn Johnson also felt influenced by Wilhelmi’s presentation. “I think when you talk face to face with someone who is more involved with the campaign you kind of get more excited about doing the work versus when you just see it on Facebook.” He is influencing students to try and change what they believe needs changing in the world around them. ‘Getting involved’ is a very broad statement that covers many things. But it can be anything from public protests to posting your views on social media.
There are detrimental effects when people are not involved nor educated correctly on politics. “If we’re not politically aware, politically savvy, aware of what’s happening around us, we do run the risk of losing control of our government to more small groups of people on various issues that have their own interests in mind rather than the betterment of the entire country,” social studies teacher Roger Stippel explained. Because people are not involved, aware and voting, small groups of people who do vote are heard, even if it is not for the better of the majority. This leads to things not happening in our government that probably should, like more strict gun laws. “We let elite groups in our country have power. Groups like the NRA and interest groups like that that keep us from passing maybe necessary gun laws,” Stippel said. According to an NPR poll, the percentage of people who want stricter gun laws, both Republican and Democrat, rose pretty dramatically from the time of the Vegas shooting in October 2017 to the Parkland shooting in February 2018 from 68 to 75 percent.
Mike Wilhelmi talked to the Young Democrats about various ways they can get involved in the Walz Campaign, and why they should, giving insight and inspiration to young citizens who look to make a difference in the world around them.