UHS Student Involvement in Political Campaigns

Angela Hou, Staff Writer

Ever since the first election in the United States in 1788, political campaigns have remained one of the most important components of a running candidate’s strategy to get elected. Now, even UHS students are involved with political campaigns. 

The voting period for 2022’s general election started Nov. 8. One might have seen colorful political signs and big campaign billboard signs beside roads months before the election. These signs were all part of various candidates’ campaigns and aimed at catching the attention of constituents. However, campaign efforts go far beyond the simple lawn signs, and many people fail to realize how much work candidates put into their campaigns. From giving speeches to advertising to working together with their campaign team, there are numerous components of an election campaign. These activities not only take large amounts of time but are also extremely expensive. 

Senior Francesca Levine took part in Congresswoman Katie Porter’s Youth Advisory Board. Porter was the first Democrat to represent the 45th congressional district and was also reelected in California’s newly redistricted 47th congressional district in 2022. Levine described her interesting experience of running a political campaign. 

“It was an intense and competitive application process with many complex questions regarding myself and my interest in politics,” Levine said. “I was surprised and super happy to be accepted.”

Levine also mentioned feeling a bit hesitant at first regarding the age difference between other members of the Youth Advisory Board.

“The Board was very intimidating as the majority were college students who had a lot of political experience, and I was just a sophomore in high school,” Levine said. “Regardless of that, everyone was extremely supportive and made me feel comfortable sharing my opinions.”

Levine explained how she is very passionate about politics and human rights issues and thought that applying for the Youth Advisory Board was the perfect way to get involved. In each session, Levine had various discussions with other members on board regarding voting for Bills in Congress. Through this experience, Levine became more aware of the social issues around her. 

“I wanted to work with like-minded people who I could have constructive conversations with and could help me grow as a person,” Levine said. “Overall, I just wanted to start getting more involved as I continued approaching the age to vote and wanted to help my community in any way I could.” 

Getting involved in the political field can be scary; however, it is not impossible to get started, as one can join a political campaign. Whether you are interested in majoring in political science in college or just want to help out your community, it’s never too late to get involved. 

“Don’t be afraid to get involved,” Levine said. “I know political fields can be intimidating with a lot of intense people, but participating really feels worth it.” 

No effort is too small either, whether it’s signing petitions or encouraging your family members to vote.

“Being a part of a movement that is important to you is both a service to your community and to yourself,” Levine said. “Even if you get involved in a small way, it makes all the difference without you knowing it.”

Besides being involved in Porter’s Youth Advisory Board, Levine is also a member of the UHS March for Our Lives (UHS MFOL) Club. She says that the club focuses on gun violence prevention and also on students’ mental health. Currently, the club is focusing on the contention over the school dress code and trying to gather students’ opinions on the issue.

“Overall, we want to act as a voice [for] students and advocate for mental health resources and school safety,” Levine said. 

Another student that is known for her involvement in political campaigns is senior Kashish Sachdeva. Sachdeva gained great interest in this field when she discovered how hard women had to fight for the passing of the 19th Amendment, which granted women suffrage.

Sachdeva is also the founder of Currently Informed, a website dedicated to advocating for current important events. Sachdeva claimed that the news website is her biggest involvement in the political field. 

“I’m also very big on implementing change in my society,” Sachdeva said. “I started a petition for the Judiciary Act of 2021, and it gained national support. I was able to discuss this with Congresswoman Katie Porter to ensure action was taken towards the issue.”

Sachdeva’s biggest advice to students interested in getting involved in the political field is to try to take action toward what you believe in politically. You will be surprised at how one little step could result in something so rewarding.

Sachdeva is a strong believer in focusing on key political issues and has written several articles on her website expressing her opinions. With that being said, Sachdeva admits that she is skeptical about applying to colleges in states that do not allow personal liberty rights, such as the right to abortion. 

“Key policy issues such as abortion are important,” Sachdeva said. “Having the right to choose what to do with one’s body impacts women daily, and it’s important to know the views of politicians on those matters to determine who to vote for.”

Levine and Sachdeva are just two inspirational examples of UHS students who are taking great steps to make a difference in the areas that they believe in. You will never know how much of a difference you can make until you take the first step.