Oct 132002
Authors: Megan Fromm

DENVER — About 15 CSU students joined hundreds of Democrats Thursday night in downtown Denver to rally support for Senate hopeful Tom Strickland.

The reception, dubbed “Strickland Unplugged”, featured brief speeches by Strickland and supporter Bill Bradley, a 2000 Democratic presidential candidate and former NBA player, live music and an opportunity for young adults to exercise their political prowess.

“It’s a good way to get involved,” said CSU Young Democrats President Scott Bruning, a junior political science major.

Geared toward college-age voters and young adults, Strickland, who is running against incumbent Republican Wayne Allard, cited the event as an important way to connect with young people and stressed the need for active participation in politics from the audience.

“I remember an era when politics was seen as a noble calling,” he said. “When we believed we could make the world a better place.”

Strickland also recalled the story of a young girl with whom he interacted during a community event who asked, with recent budget cuts in education and the state’s art and music curriculum dwindling, why politicians hurt children first. He called his race for Senate a way to give children a voice and briefly mentioned issues critical to his campaign like women’s rights and preserving what’s good in Colorado.

“I think about the special responsibility we have coming from Colorado,” Strickland said. “It is not an overstatement to say that the outcome of this race will determine if a woman’s right to choose will remain the constitutional law of the land.”

Colorado’s race for the Senate is one of few highly contested races across the country whose result could have a bearing on which party takes majority rule in the Senate. Bradley, in a brief speech, asked the audience to reciprocate support he received in 2000 and use it to campaign heavily for Strickland in the coming weeks.

“I see Tom as someone of the future,” he said. “We need political leaders who not only are right on the issues you care about but who also… can thread a path that will lead to a better path for all of us, who does not shy away from idealism.

“Have confidence in the leadership of Tom in Colorado and see that your generation is a generation that will shape a better world for al of us,” he told the crowd.

Alicia Adderly, a senior political science major, agreed with Bradley’s plea for youth involvement in politics.

“We are the future,” she said. “We put power in someone’s hands, so we should make it the right hands. We are going to live through these ages.”

Bruning said the world would see real progressive changes if more young people were involved, but the general reaction from college-age students is often indifference.

“It’s disappointing how conservative and apathetic the student population is,” he said.

-Edited by Vince Blaser and Ben Koerselman

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