Tip O' the Horn
The Student News Site of Hyman Brand Hebrew Academy

RampageWired

The Student News Site of Hyman Brand Hebrew Academy

RampageWired

The Student News Site of Hyman Brand Hebrew Academy

RampageWired

Photo by Teddy Zitron
D'var Torah
March 15, 2024

HBHA and UA Get out the Vote

HBHA+and+UA+Get+out+the+Vote

Slider image by Ayelet Schuster.

Every year, Hyman Brand Hebrew Academy (HBHA) and University Academy (UA) join together to do a social justice project for the community. Since 2018 is a midterm election year, their social justice project is Get Out the Vote.

Future Votes KC, HBHA and UA’s partnership has worked with MORE2, the Metro Organization for Racial and Economic Equity, to encourage more people to vote in the 2018 midterm election. To promote voting, students have been calling registered voters and hosted a rally on election day.

HBHA and UA students had a phone banking session together where they called hundreds of Missouri voters. Image courtesy of Jared Schulz.

“Regardless of one’s political beliefs, almost all of us can agree that exercising our right to vote makes our democracy stronger and elevates the needs of our communities in government,” says MORE2 Kansas Organizer, Marcus Winn.

Throughout the month leading up to the election, students called registered voters to encourage them to vote, and they also gave more information on certain initiatives on the ballot. “I enjoyed getting positive responses from voters because it told me that they actually appreciated my call” says junior Mirra Goldenberg. “But, I did get some negative callers or ones who did not wish to share their voting preferences too, which made the phone banking all the more exciting.”

“Students have been joining and supporting MORE2‘s work of turning out voters for the November elections” says Winn. “Specifically, we’ve been training students on the VAN (Voter Activation Network) system, which is used by candidates and organizations across the country from local to presidential races, utilizing that technology to make phone calls to prospective voters and encourage them to vote.”

Each school had two calling sessions on their own before having one together at UA on Oct. 25.  The students were mixed up and divided into teams for a competition to see who could make the most calls.

“It was fun getting to do this with UA as well because we got to make calls and get to know the people from the other school” says Goldenberg. “It also prepared us for the rally we are having together on Election Day.”

After a month of calling voters, it was election day: Nov. 6, 2018.  HBHA juniors and seniors joined UA students at Holmes Park in Kansas City, Mo.  Holmes starting early at 7 a.m., to encourage voting while people were on their way to work. 

Students stood with signs on a chilly Tuesday morning, and made up chants that promoted voting and democracy. Image courtesy of Ayelet Schuster.

Meanwhile,  the underclassmen at HBHA stood by HBHA on Nall and had their own rally.

 At Holmes Park, as people passed the rally in their cars, there were many honks, waves, and smiles in support of democracy. UA junior, Janae Weaver, felt that the rally was impactful because “voting affects our future, and it is important to get everyone to vote to change our today and tomorrow.”

Back at the rally on Nall, freshmen and sophomores encouraged more people to vote in Kansas. “I was surprised with the amount of people that honked at us to support voting” says sophomore Avi Velasquez. “It felt like we were out there for a purpose.”

“While most students can’t yet vote, the decisions made in government affect young people more than anyone” says Winn. “Students will have to live with the political decisions made now longer than anyone. So, it makes sense to me that they should be the most active in engaging the political process, not just as an interesting educational exercise, but as full participants… students, have more at stake in governmental decisions than most of us!”

Getting adults to vote is especially important because it will continue to affect the lives of teenagers for years to come. Velasquez says, “it is important to get people to vote because I would like people to vote for my future because I am unable to vote.”

Future Votes KC will be continuing their work this year for the upcoming Kansas City Mayoral election. They will be holding a candidate forum to learn more about the candidates ideas for becoming mayor.

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