CFHS Democrats club fires up again

According to sophomore  Ryan Westhoff, the new CFHS Democrats club is basically a group of students that come together to work for democratic causes as well as help elect Democrats in the Cedar Falls- Waterloo area.

Westhoff was always interested in politics but didn’t have the opportunities to get involved; therefore, he is trying to create an environment for students to express themselves freely, also offering volunteering opportunities in the political field.

“I think every high school should have a club like this to support their students in areas they are interested in,” Westhoff said.

CFHS Democrats was started by Olivia Habnick who graduated last year. After Habnick’s graduation, Westhoff and his friends decided to start the club again and are hoping to keep it going till they graduate.

“We want to get young people involved in the political process as soon as we can,” Westhoff said.

CFHS Democrats had its first meeting on Friday, Feb. 16 with Senator Jeff Danielson, Habnick and approximately 25 students attending. Danielson told the students about his political journey and mentioned the increase of youth voters after Habnick’s success with the CFHS Democrats.

“Our goal is to make students have optimistic thoughts about the future,” Westhoff said. He said even though students hesitate getting involved in politics because of thinking they aren’t going to be able to make a change, CFHS Democrats members discuss and look for ways to solve issues during their meetings.

Their most recent event was the gun control protest on Friday, Feb. 23, in front of Rep. Rod Blum’s office.

“We need action on this issue, and the purpose of the protest was to call on Rod Blum as well as two other senators to act on this,” Westhoff said.

The protest mostly consisted students from Cedar Falls High School, UNI and Hawkeye Community College. “We thought this protest would be a good way of adding our voices to the national conversation on this issue,” Westhoff said.

According to him, CFHS Democrats welcomes everyone who is willing to participate in the conversation. “If you are a Democrat or if you’re hoping for some sort of progressive future, it’ll appeal to you,” Westhoff said.

He said CFHS Democrats are also willing to support a CFHS Republicans Club if people are willing to have one. “I have no opposition to there being a CFHS Republicans Club; I’m not saying I would go out and strike that because obviously that’s not my politics, that’s not what I agree with, but we would respect and support that group,” Westhoff said.

The Democrats are planning on meeting every other Friday, first shift, in their sponsor history teacher Traci Lake’s room with donuts. They are going to be having their own elections to choose their club president this Friday, March 2.

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