Staffer urges community involvement


Bekah Collins, staff writer


High school sophomores can generally be found playing sports or video games, but at 16 I was more interested in politics and world events than most. 

Although I couldn’t yet vote, I was enthralled by the complexity of the 2008 presidential debate and wanted to get more involved. I contacted the Democratic National Headquarters and got connected with local leaders for then-Sen. Obama’s campaign.

For the next few months I spent a lot of time as an area team leader, contacting voters in the Joplin area and organizing events to compel more area residents to register to vote. When President Obama won the election that fall, everyone on staff was ecstatic, and we could not wait to see how the next four years unfolded.

With an average approval rating of 51 percent, Obama’s presidency has had mixed reviews. Considering congressional stalemates, a wavering economic status and ongoing turmoil overseas, President Obama had a tough challenge ahead of him trying to navigate our country in the right direction. Overall, I am pleased with his performance as a president, and I plan on voting for him should he be nominated as the Democratic party’s candidate for the upcoming election. 

With the recent release of the American Jobs Act, it is clear to me that the Obama administration is making headway in resolving problems made by the current legislative stalemate. The intent of this package of legislation is to repair and modernize the economy and infrastructure in the United States, and it implements many of the platforms on which the President based his candidacy in 2008.

For example, rather than paying for this $450 billion package with earmarks and higher taxes, everything will be paid for by improving current reforms. 

This money will be used to make advancements in education and transportation. He also addressed the reality of opportunity cost, a common issue to many Americans, and the choice we have of giving tax cuts to small businesses and the working class, or giving them again to special interest groups and big businesses. These are all issues that President Obama mentioned during the 2008 election.

As a new election year approaches, I’m excited to see what other steps the Obama administration takes to improve our government and economy. 

I will again work on his campaign as an area team leader, and I encourage anyone who is interested in the issues surrounding the election to get involved with the party with which you most closely identify. 

Not only did my experiences give me a better perspective on the issues at hand, but it was a great opportunity to network and gain great of experience.