Election 2018: It’s On! was a post-election conference that provided attendees an opportunity to be informed on local and state measures from the Nov. 6 midterms. It featured lectures from many well-known public figures and our very own Mayor Eric Garcetti.
This on-campus conference was organized by the Pat Brown Institute for Public Affairs with the hopes of addressing students on national politics and ensuring that the people do not overlook this month’s election results.
The United States had a massive voter turnout of close to 800,000 people—the highest number in over a century. At least 121 women will have a seat in the house come January 2019 and these women are comprised of many races and sexual orientations, making up the most diverse Senate in U.S history.
A total of 56 percent of U.S. voters were women according to Carla Marinucci, reporter for Politico. Marinucci was inspired by the turnout of college students and their interest in fixing social issues. These results show that voters are looking for something different and are getting involved to make a change.
“I came today to celebrate women in history,” Political Science student Alicia Flores said.
“So much negativity has been around the world lately, and I think this is the first step back towards humanity.”
A bit closer to home, the city of Los Angeles was recently named the 3rd largest economy in the nation. With a total of 18 million residents, LA had the highest voter turnout here in 25 years. Keynote speaker and Mayor Eric Garcetti, upheld his visions for LA and urged citizens to never stop fighting because ‘good progress takes time.’
In an exclusive interview with the UT, Garcetti expressed his feelings towards the results of the midterms and what’s to come.
“Now that we took back the house, we have the ability to get back on track…to reform and ethics,” he said. “This is the time to actually get things done, not just talk anymore.”
Garcetti is driven towards giving women equal pay, ending gun violence, providing free education and most importantly, ensuring that the Government is following through for the people. His current goals are to combat climate control and make sure Americans are getting the healthcare, infrastructure, and economic opportunities that they want.
With recent events in the LA area, devastating fires and a mass shooting, Garcetti spent a great amount of time expressing his condolences to those affected and yet feels somewhat optimistic for the future. He sees a ‘hope of unity’ in Americans today. People from different parts of the world are putting aside their political views and origins to come together in a time of need.
LA County Board Supervisor Mark Ridley-Thomas was ‘very glad to be here’ and witness the advances of Democracy and the morality we hold between each other. He has many years of experience with politics and was impressed with the schools undertaking.
“The Pat Brown Institute does an exceptional job of advancing the principles of Democracy and how we understand each other,” Thomas told the UT. “It’s great.”
The Institute was brought to Cal State LA in 1987 by former Governor Pat Brown and has since held an annual policy conference to connect and promote community engagement. This year was special; not only did it include participants such as, Mayor Garcetti, Ronald Brownstein, Warren Olney, Darry Sragow and many more, but it followed the election that made history.
“Our motto is unleashing the power of participation and our method is inform, engage [and] inspire,” Executive Director Raphael Sonenshein said. “We want to provide accessible, accurate and useful information about the political realm…in which all of us can participate.”