By Aleko Brice
Special to myBurbank
U.S. Senate Candidate Pat Harris, a progressive democrat running in the 2018 midterm elections, spoke to a crowd of four hundred people this past Thursday in Burbank High’s Wolfson Auditorium.
The event was organized by Burbank High School’s Political Science Club, which hoped to use the event to encourage the next generation of voters to be politically engaged. “It’s darkest right before the dawn. And you guys are the dawn,” Senate Candidate Harris told the audience of high school students attending the event.
The event was over an hour and a half long, featuring an introduction and closing speech by President Aleko Brice and Vice President Saro Sandaljian, along with a twenty minute speech by Senate Candidate Harris, followed by a town hall style Q&A where the audience was able to ask any questions they had for the candidate for an hour.
Questions varied from topics such as climate change, to gun control, to student loans, all questions the students themselves felt needed to be asked. “We were glad to feel like we had a voice and could be heard,” said high school junior Vivian Vasquez.
“The event was a culmination of two months hard work,” said club member Sara Taylor about the town hall. Brice and Sandaljian contacted countless local youth organizations to attend and promote the event, along with teachers and professors from both city high schools and the local colleges, such as Woodbury University and Glendale Community College.
Among the attendees were Burbank City Council members Jess Talamantes and Sharon Springer, along with many concerned Burbank voters. For the active Burbank students who hoped to be able to vote in the upcoming election, Brice aided many students in the process of pre-registering/registering to vote, giving out forms and explaining the importance of being involved in politics.
During this, Sandaljian helped direct students to ask any other questions they had. Executive board members Sam Vaseghyzand, Garo Naljian, Miles Gilmore, Shant Sandaljian, along with the rest of the club members, helped organize concessions and booths, along with production.
All in all, it was a collaborative, student-driven effort to encourage the next generation to get involved and vote. “They make me look good. They did this all themselves,” club advisor Cody Parker stated.