Parish Government

Centers of Influence – Meggan S, Haley M, and Mark E

In Action on November 4, 2010 at 12:51 am

This past month in class, on every Wednesday or Thursday, and even outside of class, we have been working on our political project. The goal of our project was to try and make an impact on Amercian’s of ages 18 to 24 years old.  In particular, our specific goal was to try and improve voting rates and increase the knowledge of what these young Americans know about the political world. Over the course of the time for the project we interviewed the students at our school, and tested their knowledge of the United States government. We then consolidated all the results and posted them in a video on YouTube and on Facebook. The second half of our project was to get people to write the word “VOTE” on his or her arm representing that they will or plan to vote when they reach 18 years of age.

After creating our blogging site, we went around the school asking several students from each grade about what they knew about the government. We were shocked by the results! At first, we made a list of questions that we thought were easy, like, when was the upcoming election day this year? However, most of the students seemed to struggle with this and several other what we thought were easy questions. Some of the other questions we asked included: What is a Congressional District? What Congressional District does one live in? Who are the two candidates running for governor in Texas?  What are these elections for?  Some of our results we got were named of people that did not even exist, or were even names of people running for office. We also were given numbers for congressional districts that do not even exist in Texas. For example, one student answered with congressional district 42, and that Kay Bailey Hutchison was running for governor of Texas.  After filming the student’s responses to our questions we posted the video of them online and hoped to get the most amounts of viewers we could with what time we had left.

In addition to the video that we produced and put online hoping it would be viewed by our audience, we also needed to prove that young Americans were impacted by what we had done and were doing. We also asked students through Facebook and text messaging to write the word “VOTE” on their arm to see whether our message was getting out. We asked everyone that would eventually vote or when they become qualified to vote would be influenced by our messaging. We were very surprised by the result because using this electronic media, Facebook and texting, it was relatively easy to get our message out easily and quickly. Also, we found that most people when the got the message were quick to follow the suggestion to write “VOTE” on their arms. Many people these days were so willing to support our cause, especially when they hear the message from people that are similar in age to them. If the age group of the people sending out the messages were older or much younger they would be disconnected from the target age group. If the message came from these unconnected sources, the chances for our target group to respond would have been lower for sure. Writing the word “VOTE” on his or her arm is just like they used to do in Afghanistan with the finger prints. Both the people from Afghanistan and us were making a statement. This message being that they have or will vote or support the elections.

This action project was a good way for people to see how much of an impact one can make in encouraging people of a certain age group to vote. In our project, we hoped that using current technologies such as YouTube, Facebook, and simple texting, coming from similar aged people, we would be able to spread our message and learning to a similar aged voting or soon to be voting population. We were very surprised to see how our efforts to spread our message traveled around very quickly. Young Americans need to get registered and go to the polls and vote, because without their voice, government will not be able to hear them, and therefore, their opinion will not matter. Also, if they do not make their opinions known and try to influence change, then it will be difficult for them to later complain.

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  1. Dear Mccrary, Meggan and Mark,

    We are very impressed with your political action project. We especially like the idea of writing having people write “vote” on their arms. We suggest your group go through and edit some basic grammatical errors in your statement. We think that your group’s idea was very well crafted, and we are convinced that many people were influenced to ask the people with “vote” written on them, what exactly it stood for. Overall, we enjoyed reading up on your ideas and actions.
    Thanks for your time,
    George C. Andrew M.

  2. Dear Haley, Meggan and Mark,

    We are very impressed with your political action project. We especially like the idea of writing having people write “vote” on their arms. We suggest your group go through and edit some basic grammatical errors in your statement. We think that your group’s idea was very well crafted, and we are convinced that many people were influenced to ask the people with “vote” written on them, what exactly it stood for. Overall, we enjoyed reading up on your ideas and actions.
    Thanks for your time,
    George C. Andrew M.

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