Parish Government

Archive for the ‘Impact’ Category

Impact Statement – Kate, Aaron, Nathan, Alexis

In Impact on November 16, 2010 at 8:12 am

Our group as a whole feels as though young Americans of today’ society are not necessarily uninvolved in politics on a voting standard, instead there is a recurring lack of belief that young Americans can truly have a voice. Our survey showed that while many of the students cared, they felt as though they had no voice and even if they were of voting age they would still feel as if they would not have a strong voice because it is only one vote. They also expressed great concern toward the fact that there is a lack of acceptance by the older generations. Often times they ignore or see the youth’s point of views as insignificant because the older generations believe that the youth of America do not care about politics. The article we submitted to the Preston Hollow People will show people of all ages that younger Americans do care about politics. It is our goal to change their minds and see the population of young Americans as new and fresh ideas rather than unconcerned adolescents as they have previously been labeled.

Not only will these ideas of misinterpretations about young people influence older Americans, but also it will show the young Americans that their ideas and opinions do matter if they are willing to voice them and prove themselves. In our survey we asked a series of questions such as: do you care about politics?, do you feel you have a voice in the political process?, do you feel as though politics affects your daily life?, do you pay attention to current affairs?, and would you care more if you had a stronger voice in the political process? The responses showed that 68 percent of the students interviewed do care about politics and 76 percent of students agree that politics plays a role in and affects daily life. Although, 64 percent felt as though they do not have a voice in the political process, 72 percent said that if they were to have a stronger voice they would care much more.  These surveys brought up conversations about politics and we were able to explain to the students who were did not care them the importance of being involved in one-way or another. We also encouraged that people make a voice for themselves rather than waiting around for someone else to give them one.  Although we only have the responses to 25 individuals, many of the people interviewed were sitting with other people who heard the entire conversation and were also able to benefit from the ideas and concerns presented. With the survey results we will be able to prove to older generations that America’s youth does care.

As a way to make these results easily accessible we submitted a summary of our research and survey results to the Preston Hollow People. Many people within the Preston Hollow community read this news publication. Our submission is short and concise with a message to readers of all ages. To the older generations we hope to instill a sense of open mindedness toward the ideas and opinions of younger Americans. To those younger Americans our goal is to show them they can have a voice if they become involved and are not afraid to share their opinions. It is our goal to impact everyone that reads this article to realize that America’s youth has been mislabeled and if they are listened to they may have valuable, new ideas that our country can benefit from.

Impact Statement – Iram M, Elianah G, George R

In Impact on November 5, 2010 at 4:17 pm

In our project, as said before, we were assigned to get our voices heard in politics or the community. Our group decided to fix a road. Some may say that has nothing to do with politics but it does have to do with fixing an important part around community. The road being fixed is called FM544. This road is particularly very bad because it has many potholes and ditches that cause accidents. We thought it was bad enough to call the mayor of the city to get this problem fixed. Although it was very hard to get through to him, we still tried but were tossed from person to person. We were sent to the department of transportation, but Gary Bailey was not responding well to us. Therefore, we went back to the Mayor to try again. He responded eagerly, but the time wasn’t allowing us to follow through. The groups’ political action has been meaningful and impactful because it actually got people to realize how messed up the road is. Also, it got people to read our petition and take the time out of their day to actually sign and consider it. My group put out petitions saying how we were looking forward to fix the road and solve the problem. So far, we picked up two petitions that were full of numbers, addresses and peoples’ names saying how they agree the road should be fixed. Each page contained ten different rows for people to fill out with their name, number, and address. There were still fifteen other petitions in other places with the same results we hoped for. 

The project was a success because the community of Castle Hills gathered to fill out the petitions we made. This showed that a group of teenagers could actually have a say in politics and do something about community problems. It was nice to know our petitions got word out to people to see a problem and be fixed. If it wasn’t for the group and I, the people probably would have kept patching up the pot holes and gone on with their normal lives living with a dangerous rode that could cause more and more accidents. This proves teens not only have to do something beyond measures to get their voices heard out publicly. But, they could simply fix a problem within their community and get people involved as well.

Impact Statement – Sarah A, Ani A, Caitlin H, and Allie A

In Impact on November 4, 2010 at 1:27 am

For the Political Action group project, Sarah A, Ani A, Allie A, and Caitlin H wanted to somehow get people in the high school of Parish Episcopal School involved and informed about the political process. They put their heads together and created a way to achieve their original goal of making an impact. The group’s political action project has been meaningful because they have created a cultural touchstone within the school and had a large turnout with the cultural touchstone.

The group decided to make a bracelet that they would hand out during lunch. But to get a bracelet they had to fill out a survey about voting. The questions included, “When you turn 18 will you register to vote and vote in the next election?” and “Who is one person running for governor in the upcoming election?” Once a participant fill out the survey with their prior knowledge on the election process, they receive a bracelet. In the first day of handing out the bracelets and doing the survey, the group handed out 206 bracelets. By the end of the project the group handed out 231 bracelets and had 231 surveys. Giving out all those bracelets in a fairly small high school created a cultural touchstone. Now when someone sees that white bracelet they can show how they have one as well and that they have visited the website and have gotten informed about the political process. Everyone who has a bracelet can talk about how they saw this really cool video about what a senator does and now they know what role a senator has to play in the political process. If someone doesn’t know about the bracelet and website, they can just ask someone with a bracelet and that person will tell them about how they should get informed about the political process by conveniently visiting the website. This then becomes a cycle of people wanting to know more about the bracelets and what they mean and then them visiting the website. The bracelet will become something really cool to wear because it means that you have been to the website and that you are becoming educated on the political process, which in turn creates a large turnout for the number of people who want to get informed and them making an impact by spreading the word about how to get involved and informed.

Caitlin’s, Allie’s, Analisa’s, and Sarah’s turnout for bracelets and surveys showed an impact on getting young people involved. For the first question of the survey, “When you turn 18 will you register to vote and vote in the upcoming election,” 201 people said yes, 14 said no, and 16 said maybe or they are unable to register. An overwhelming 87% of people want to register to vote. That shows they young people really do want to get involved in the political process. For the second question, “who is one person running for governor,” more people did not know someone running than people knowing someone running. This showed that people, at first, were not informed about the political process and the upcoming election, but the group encouraged people to visit their website and get informed and learn how to get involved. Many people visited the website and got informed. Out of the three videos posted on the website, there was a total of 62 views. That is a fair amount for such a small high school. For our survey, faculty and students could participate which was a total of 431 people. The group only had 300 bracelets, and out of those 300, 231 people participated in the survey. The sample size of the group’s calculations was 300 because there were only three hundred bracelets. Out of the sample size 71% of people participated in the survey. That is a very good turnout and if those 71% of people get informed, they can pass that information along and then many people will start getting involved. Overall, the group made an impact by created a cultural touchstone so the information about getting informed can keep spreading and they made an impact because 231 people filled out a survey and wanted to get involved and informed about the political process.

Impact Statement – Haley R, Taryn D, and Chris H

In Impact on November 4, 2010 at 1:21 am

Young people’s influence in politics truly does matter.  The problem was, how do they get involved? As a group, we decided our goal was to find a way to get ourselves involved first, then everyone else surrounding us by finding as many ways as possible to participate in the political community.  By doing this, we hoped to impact our peers and those observing us by encouraging them to learn from us and experience for themselves what we experienced.  We succeeded in this goal by feeling more involved in politics from our efforts than we had ever imagined.  Through our participation in the political campaigns, by specifically answering phones, talking to campaign leaders and putting together yard signs, we have developed a strong understanding of what it takes to make campaigns happen and how young people like ourselves, can get involved.  After talking to various campaign leaders through emails and from face to face conversations, we’ve been educated with more ideas of how to get young teens involved.   Such as, serving on election boards, joining a campaign effort, distributing signs during walks, making awareness for each campaign, influencing our parents about our thoughts, serving in leadership positions in our community, and most of all, being informed about the candidates and the issues in the government.  Although we were unable to do all of those things, we know that it is definitely possible and we encourage others to participate – it’s a form of learning that is actually a lot of fun.  Also, we realized that we have been involved with politics in our own community through our leadership in school – like student government, honor council and community service leadership boards.  It surprised us how involved we actually were; we all were well informed with what was going on around us, and this project further allowed us to go out and get a first hand experience in politics.  By doing these actions and participating in our community political campaigns, we were able to see what goes on behind the scenes; this clearly proved to us that young teens CAN get involved.  We hope that our video will prove to students that they can be active in politics just as easily as we did.  This project truly impacted us all, and has encouraged us to continue to stay involved with political campaigns as well as to obtain leadership roles in our community.

Impact Statement – Amber S, Matt W, Santiago Z, and Hayden S

In Impact on November 4, 2010 at 1:17 am

For our project, we as a team, and individually went around our neighborhoods and to stores around town and posted signs informing people of the election day, as well as with slips attached with a website or email address they could reference for information about where to vote, or about the candidates in the elections. This was our “action” phase of the project.

Our goals for our “impact” portion of the project were to try and raise awareness in the community about the upcoming election, as well as attempt to increase voter turnout. Our objective was to encourage people to fulfill their civil duty and vote, to also be informed voters, and research the candidate’s views before voting, and to get involved in the political process. By this we not only mean the elections, but acting upon one’s opinions and attempt to make a change.

When we went back to visit the sites where we posted our signs, we found that in some places slips had been taken, but in others none were taken. As a result of this, we can generally infer that the people who took a slip were in some way interested in either the website, or interested in emailing us to ask for help on where to vote. This is one way in which we impacted the people in our community. Another is just the fact that we had signs around town. Signs are great reminders to people, no matter if they take a slip off the sign or not, we know that lots of people will at least look at the sign. Maybe those people are already involved in the political process or know where to vote, but the sign is still a reminder to all about the upcoming election.

Although we received no emails (most likely due to the fact that most people don’t like to email their address to a random email address on a telephone pole), several slips were taken, so we can conclude some people did show interest. However, we understand there were flaws in our approach to this project. Our planning phase was a little too long, therefore not leaving us as much time as we would’ve liked to actually implement our project. Also, we could have used different methods of sign or flyer use, such as by mail/mailbox or in person at restaurants or local hotspots. Another way to increase our impact is to increase the amount of signs, and the variety of places we put them.

For our conclusion we can definitively say that we did in fact have an impact on our community in two ways: by informing people of where to vote or where to research candidates, and by serving as a reminder to the community about the upcoming election. Our impact was meaningful because we feel like there is a lack of participation on the people’s part to participate in the political process and really become involved in their government. Therefore we chose this as our project to attempt to change people’s lazy attitudes towards politics into a more positive one by stating that everyone’s voice/vote matters, and in order to express their opinions, they need to vote!

Impact Statement – Johne M and Connor F

In Impact on November 4, 2010 at 1:11 am
Over the course of the past five weeks, our group has tried to figure out the cause of a lack of young adult (ages 18-24) voters at the polls on election day. After taking a survey of both adults and teenagers, we pinpointed the source of the problem: a simple lack of voting knowledge in the young adult community.
 
At first, this problem seemed to have a simple fix, just educate our age group in the voting process. But how to educate them turned out to be the real challenge. At first, we planned to make a toll-free number that we would advertise on major roads to try and spread voting information, but that route turned out to be too expensive. We then decided to make a blog which turned out to be a success. By advertising our political information blog called “Know Your Vote” on Facebook and other social networking sites, we were able to get over 250 views as of November 5th.
 
Our group chose a blog for a number of reasons: the most important being that instead of internet users simply being forced information through a group inbox or facebook page, we allowed users the choice of whether to click the link or not. This gave us a much more realistic number of impressions and allowed us to see where we were having the most impact. Over 250 of our peers made the decision to go to our blog and educate themselves on the voting process and how to be a better citizen because of our project. We were even lucky enough to have a blog visitor from Australia! Facebook won the social networking war; referring over 140 young Americans (and an Australian) to our page. We believe that through our research and blog we have made a meaningful, and impactful effort to educate our peers on the importance of voting.
 
Comments on our blog posts also helped us to share our knowledge. Two people named Camille and Matthew commented on one of our blog posts early on and we were able to directly answer their individual questions. Our “Don’t Know Where To Vote?” post channeled around 130 young adults to www.vote411.org, helping them to find their local polling place in order to cast their vote on November 2nd, and roughly 7 watched each candidate’s political video on YouTube.com.
 
The fact that our “Know Your Vote” blog attracted over 250 young adults in one week is staggering. We believe that this proves one thing: young Americans want to vote, they simply don’t know where to and aren’t familiar with the candidates. Through our political action project, we were able to impact hundreds of young voters and hopefully inspire them to voice their opinion in government by casting their vote on November 2nd. Our hope is that we planted a seed of political activism in teens around both the metroplex and around the world that will some day grow into a model example of responsible citizenship for generations to come. 

Impact Statement – Caitlin C, Jordan J, Eric E, and Ben H

In Impact on November 4, 2010 at 1:00 am

The objective of our project was to educate people about political indifference and persuade them to consider being more politically active than they are at the moment. Our way of doing this was through video interviews and talking to people during the interviews about ways to become politically active and why it is good. From our statistics we are able to tell that we made an overall positive impact.

We were able to successfully help people structure their thoughts about voting and reasons why it is so important. We also stressed the starting point of voting, which begins with registering to vote. Some of the people we had talked to were over 18, but had not registered to vote. A few people had not decided if they would vote or not and were not registered to vote. Our group was able to help some of these people take the first step towards voting by registering to vote.

Here is a bar graph of our impact:

As you can see in the graphs, our group was able to impact five of the interviewee’s points of view concerning local election voting. We were able to make an impact by not only expressing the problem out in the community but also being able to change minds so that people are aware of what happens in the community when there is political indifference.

The reason we were so successful in impacting these five people was because of the face to face speaking and relating to their views. Some of these people had strong opinions over voting and whether or not they would participate. Others were open to suggestions and were interested to hear our points of view. Many took the time to hear our stories and would either agree or come back with some type of reason why they believed we were incorrect.

The face-to-face communication showed that not only were we serious about political indifference, but also that we cared about each individual’s thoughts. It was personal enough for people to feel safe and to open up. They shared their thoughts and views about voting and explain why they chose that view.

Impact Statement – Meggan S, Haley M, and Mark E

In Impact on November 4, 2010 at 12:53 am

Voting is the major political issue going on right now in America. It is time for the people of the United States to exercise their right to vote. People who do not get out and vote should not complain about the person or policies that are made in this country. Everyone of age in America can vote for their candidate of choice or for the policies their politician stands for. The key to any voting process is to try and obtain the most number of votes possible. The voting process is not so critical so long as it is fair and honest. It all boils down to how many people actually show up to the polls on the first Tuesday after the first Monday of November to vote.

For our project we together made a video and posted it on every site that we could think of. The video showed people between the ages of 18 to 24 years old, in other words, young Americans that intend to vote or would vote if of age. The premise of our video was to get the word out to people of similar age to vote, and to educate them in the voting process. Our group’s political action project was a successful in that we convinced numerous people to write the word “VOTE” on their arm on Thursday, October 28th. The video had the impact it was intended, to increase voting awareness and at the same time raise some awareness as to the process.

In our project video, we asked people to write the word “VOTE” on their arm to show their support for voting in the upcoming elections. We sent out voting reminders to all of our friends and fellow students using text messaging, and to all our buddies and friends on Facebook. This added advertising media worked very well and got the message out very quickly to a wide range of people. We wanted to see how much influence our video and advertising would have on a similar age population as we had with the people in the video. We worked very hard to send a message that young voters should get and vote for their own beliefs and values. People must stand up for what they believe in, they must get involved, and even those not of age need to be ready to get involved. We choose to do our project and the video in late October, instead of another month, because voting day is November 2nd, 2010.  Having it this late would make people realize that elections are just around the corner, and that they must exercise their rights quickly to make a difference. By creating a sense of urgency in our request we think this provided us an advantage in our efforts. After asking people to participate, we got some feedback, but not as much as we had hoped for. The people who cared enough to participate were young Americans that barely knew anything about who to vote for and why they needed to get involved. When these young Americans began to realize that their voice really does matter, and why they needed to get more involved, they went around sharing this information and beliefs with their friends. All of a sudden more and more people wanted to become involved and do more.

Not only did we have these young Americans write the word “VOTE” on their arms, but we also posted our video so that we could broaden our efforts to more and more people. Our video showed how young Americans are really not involved with our government, did not seem to know anything about politics, and did not really understand their rights, and what these rights mean to them. The people we interviewed for our video showed their lack of knowledge about government based on the simple questions we asked them. When we told them the correct answers, many of them were shocked that they had no clue what the correct answer was. Our video received more than 200 viewers after we posted it on Facebook and YouTube. A qualified, counted, viewer was one that watched the entire video from start to finish. We hoped that our video would inspire people to become involved in government, understand some basic political information, and vote to make a difference. Even though there is no possible way to see how much of real impact we made in terms of actual votes, after seeing the number of viewers of our video, we were pretty sure that several people were influenced in some way by our video, especially those that watched the entire video.

Within the short amount of time we had to complete our project, we feel that we have been able to reach out to young Americans, really show them that they can make a difference, and show them that their vote really does matter. The shear number of people that saw our video and wrote the word “VOTE” on their arms was amazing. This too us indicated that our project was successful, and that what we had done had in fact influenced some people to think more about voting.

Impact Statement – Teal C, Chris K, Dallas A, and Cameron C

In Impact on November 4, 2010 at 12:47 am

We came up with many ideas before we decided to do the project we chose. The reason why we chose this project is because we found a candidate that we strongly supported and found a way to express our voice that didn’t involve voting. Through this project we found that we didn’t need to be eighteen to exercise our voice. By calling and going door to door we were able to remind, influence, and encourage many people’s decisions on voting for Bill White. The impact we made could possibly be more important than going to the polls and voting ourselves.  Because we made these phone calls, we feel that we changed the outcome of the election, no matter who wins the election; we still encouraged democrats to vote and increased voter turn outs for that party.  Through our actions, we not only influenced the people that we talked to directly, but also their friends and family. If we influenced just one person to vote for Bill White, it is quite possible that they went on and told their family and friends about what we taught them; thus possibly influencing them to vote for Bill White as well.  As a result of this project, we are hoping to eliminate the lack of political efficacy evident in Texans.  By getting Texans to vote for Bill White, we are in turn working toward his victory in the upcoming election. If Bill White does win, the long tradition of a republican held government in Texas would be broken, not only showing Democrats in Texas that it is possible to upturn tradition, but also the other states in this country that have been long term republicans. Through Bill White’s victory, it is a strong possibility that political efficacy in Texas will be retuned once more which is a huge goal that we helped accomplish. When it comes to a measurable impact, I believe that can be measured through the number of phone calls that we made and the number of door bells that we rang, however the biggest impact that we made is on ourselves. Before this project, all four of us were convinced that our age was an inevitable wall that blocked us from expressing our voice in government. After our work with the Democratic Party of Collin County on behalf of Bill White, all of us have had a similar epiphany; no matter what age, gender, or race, having a voice in government in solely determined upon the will you have to express it. Through our collaborative efforts we put forth a total of 16 hours of service which included roughly 400 phone calls. The number of people that we affected outside of our group is immeasurable, all we know is that it is a large number totaling high above the number of phone calls we made. In conclusion, all four of our views have been changed drastically due to this project.

Impact Statement – Bri S, Andi W, Will N, and Andrew V

In Impact on November 4, 2010 at 12:42 am

Our group was involved with the Danny Clancy Craig Watkins election. They were both running for Dallas District Attorney and it came out to be a close race. Our group was in support of Danny Clancy, Republican Party candidate. We chose to support Danny Clancy because we supported his ideas over Craig Watkins’s ideas. We called the Republican office to find out which election was the closest and it was this one. We felt that we could make the biggest impact on a close election. We felt the need to support the Republican, Danny Clancy.

 In order to support Danny Clancy, we called his communication secretary, Abby Hoak, to figure out ways in which we can help this election be a success for Danny Clancy. She offered out many ideas to us so we were able to get a feel for the many ways teenagers can make an influence on elections. We decided that the most affective and interesting way to make an impact is to be poll greeters. Poll greeters greet the early voters as they enter the polling locations before they vote. Our group wore Danny Clancy shirts to show we were representing him. We were passing out hand outs of Danny Clancy to the voters as they walked by us. This was a way in which we felt could make a huge impact on voter’s decisions.

 Our group’s political action was impactful because it allowed the voters to take one last look at Danny Clancy and to remember what he stood for. It also reassured the voters that Danny Clancy was what they wanted to choose. Being poll greeters is meaningful to many voters because it really focuses and determines their decision on who they want to vote for and the issues that candidate stands for. By just doing this simple action of handing out flyers of Danny Clancy to these voters, it really makes an impact on the voter’s decision. It allowed the voters to reassure they were making the right decision and lead them on the path of voting for Danny Clancy.

 Our political action project allowed us to see that we can make a difference. These simple actions help us to see that younger adults do have a voice in the government and can be an influence to older people. We made a meaningful impact on the voters by allowing them to see their options before voting and they were able to get a quick glance of who Danny Clancy stood for and that’s what our people want. Our group helped support Danny Clancy in a meaningful way and hopefully it shows in the results of the election.