Parish Government

On Prop #1 – Logan W, Blake A, Moriah P, and Arin M

In Action on November 3, 2010 at 10:12 pm

Political action may be defined by its various uses in society. When first questioned about how young citizens could make an impact our ideas were broad and difficult to achieve. With so many options available to us and the broad ways in which an impact could be achieved research became necessary. We began brainstorming on the wiki about theoretical ideas and researched articles online about how we could help spread our message in a meaningful way. One of our goals at the beginning was to figure out why people don’t vote and how we can encourage them to get involved. We continued to research and came upon two propositions for University Park, Highland Park, Oak Cliff, and Dallas County. The propositions would allow for the sale of liquor in grocery stores and restaurants that would otherwise not be able to do so. Next we decided that it was necessary to break down the project into a small compact area thus, we contacted Dick Davis, the mayor of University Park. Our purpose here was to see how we could get involved with these propositions in the Highland Park area, and how we could spread awareness and influence individuals to vote. We spoke with Mayor Davis who, thrilled to have our interest, invited us to spread the word of the upcoming propositions. Since Dick Davis was originally against the bill he suggested that we picket against the bill and encourage others to do so. After not hearing from Mayor Davis in a couple of days our group decided to research the bill and take action from there.

Upon researching the bill to expand the sale of liquor and alcohol to grocery stores and restaurants, we decided to take a neutral stance on the propositions. We wanted people to know exactly what the bill was, to see the pros and cons of the bill and to make sure that they would voice their opinion on the bill come November 2nd.  This change came about as individuals in our group began to change their opinions on the bill. For example Blake and Arin supported the bill after learning about the pros and cons. Logan and Moriah were against the bill, but learning the aspects of the bill reinforced their opinions. We consider this change to be a part of our impact, an impact on ourselves. This particular bill was one that truly interested us, and upon research, we discovered what a real difference it could make.  We decided to change our flyers, from its original oppositional stance to a neutral position, allowing individuals to freely express their opinions in an autonomous way. The new flyer gave a clear definition of the proposition and where these propositions were taking place. The flyer also listed some important pros and cons of the propositions and at the bottom of the flyer was a website where people go online and learn more about the proposition and what they could do if they felt strongly about it.

After creating a new flyer Logan, Blake and Arin headed to University and Highland Park while Moriah passed flyers and voting bracelets at her church in Oak Cliff to encourage action in her community.  We believe that these separate actions allowed our influence on the bill to be spread to a wider range of people. Many members of Moriah’s church had no knowledge of the bill and those who knew about it didn’t have strong opinions. After more of Moriah’s research, she discovered that the bill would directly affect the neighborhood around the church. The church is located in an area called “the bottom” which is not a very safe neighborhood. On the contrary the students that we spoke to at SMU were similar to those in Oak Cliff in the fact that they did not know much about the bill.  The Park Cities Area was far different from the Oak Cliff area as most were for the bill.  Although many residents supported the bill, we are fairly convinced that the students at SMU were strongly for it because they are college students and we all know what happens in college.  Our main goal; to have a meaningful impact on the election process, was a success. At first we struggled but it eventually came down to one issue that we all felt strongly about.  We were very lucky because people were willing to listen to us even though we were young. This lets us know that our voices were heard in the community and that everyone can have a meaningful impact of their own if they take the initiative to do so. Furthermore we also created a blog about taking action, posted articles on the wiki, and expanded our knowledge participating in engaged discussions.

  1. I really liked yalls idea about how to get involved. I think it was cool how yall decided to go after a specific area rather than take on a large project. It is definitely a good idea to tell people about the issues that they may not be aware of. I think this is an important discussion that people need to be having. Good job guys.

  2. Catherine-
    Thanks for the comment on our project! We hoped that focusing on a single issue addressing local residents would encourage them to search out these things on their own. The bill ended up passing in all of the areas that we walked through. Talking with individuals helped redefine the problem of political activity, and our specific issue redefined our view on the proposition. If you have any questions please let us know!

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