The eyes of Senator John Kerry’s presidential campaign have
turned their gaze towards the college vote.
Kerry is in the midst of his four-day, four-campus “Change
Starts with U: Kerry Campus Tour 2004.” He will discuss issues on
college affordability as well as youth’s role in the 2004
“I think young people need to re-emerge as a political force in
America,” Kerry said in a conference call to members of the student
press Tuesday afternoon. “Young people have this enormous power and
they really have to understand it, and embrace it and go out and
“But if everybody just walks away and says ‘Oh, it doesn’t make
a difference,’ then you empower people who have money and who spend
it in the political system without opposition,” Kerry said.
Kerry proposes to give each student a $4,000 tax credit for each
of the first four years of college. He said that while he may cut
back on service and state-aid programs due to budget reality, he
would remain strong on this proposal.
“But I will keep the tuition tax credit for students and I will
not cut back on that,” he said.
When asked about the proposal, Mayor Ray Martinez responded with
“I would say there’s a lot of hidden details he’s not telling
us,” Martinez said.
The issue of tuition increase is a concern, according to
“We’re always worried about tuition, because when you raise
tuition those who have less money are less likely to be able to go
to school,” Martinez said.
The effort to mobilize the college vote is not exclusive to the
Democratic Party, according to Martinez, but he said that even if
it were, the important fact would be that people would vote.
“The fact is we’re getting people out there to vote,” Martinez
While Chuck Fogland, chairman of the College Republicans was
concerned with where the funding for a tuition credit would come
from, he agreed that it was important that the college vote be
“I think it’s important that the college vote get out there,”
He said the biggest concern for his organization is fighting
“I think that’s what (The College Republicans are) here for, to
mobilize the vote,” Fogland said.