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COMMENTARY: Rutgers for Hillary continues grassroots efforts for election

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Nov. 8, 2016, is finally right around the corner. For two years now, Rutgers for Hillary has been organizing students and voters in support of Hillary Clinton and other Democrats running to serve America. This semester, we’ve finally reached the home stretch, and we’re not slowing down. Here are our plans for the fall.

Now that the primary is over, Rutgers for Hillary and the Rutgers Democrats have united to not only elect Hillary Clinton, but also to elect progressives across our state and country. We are thrilled to finally join forces with them.

Our team is continuing our ongoing two-pronged grassroots efforts. We will not only be engaging with students on campus, but also voters around the country. Here on campus, we will regularly table and canvass at bus stops, student centers, libraries and more, spreading our progressive message and encouraging our peers to vote blue up and down the ballot. We’ll also maintain a robust presence on social media, guaranteeing that our message will not be missed. We are also working with the Rutgers Democrats to register as many people as possible to vote before the Oct. 18 registration deadline. We know that we can’t elect Hillary Clinton by ourselves, and we intend to organize supporters to vote. We are taking no vote for granted, and we won’t just be focusing on students. We’ll be phone-banking regularly in order to reach voters in battleground states and around the country. We’re also very excited to be making canvassing trips to the Philadelphia area.

Our neighbors in Pennsylvania, a battleground state, will need as much help as they can get. Every door we knock on spreads our progressive Democratic message and further prevents Trump from getting anywhere near the White House. Everything we do matters, but it especially matters there. That is why we are planning on making several canvassing trips to the Philadelphia area before Election Day. The Clinton campaign’s upcoming weekend of action is on Sept. 17 and 18, and we are set to bring our team down to Philly to get out the vote.

We are also scheduling town-hall events with progressive leaders from our state. Through our partnership with Rutgers Democrats, we already have several speakers coming to campus this month. Assemblywoman Shavonda Sumter (D-N.J.), the Majority Conference Leader of the N.J. State Assembly, set to come speak to students on campus on Tuesday, Sept. 20. Lorna Phillipson, a Democratic U.S. congressional candidate for New Jersey’s fourth district, is coming to speak to students the following week on Tuesday, Sept. 27. These two town-hall style events will be held at Hidden Grounds on Easton Avenue. On Sept. 28, Democratic Jersey City Mayor Steven Fulop will also be coming to speak to students. Later in November, we’ll also be hosting former Ambassador Phil Murphy, a Democratic candidate for governor. We will continue securing more speakers to come on campus, as these events are critical to our peers’ political involvement and awareness. It is no secret that young people overwhelmingly do not vote, but by providing students on our campus the opportunity to meet our government representatives directly, we hope to change that paradigm.

Finally, it is especially important to ensure that Rutgers for Hillary provides our members an experience that will help launch them into the next steps of their careers. Since our founding in October 2014, we’ve seen our members move on to become interns, fellows and organizers not only for the Clinton campaign, but also for other progressive campaigns around the state and country. Generating an experience that sparks opportunity for progressive student leaders is one of the most important reasons why Rutgers for Hillary exists. We will continue to ensure that our members remain politically involved even after this election, whether it’s for other campaigns or for initiatives seeking to bring progress to our state and country.

As thrilled as we are to kick off our efforts for the last stage of this election, we can only be successful with your help. Please, like our Facebook page, follow us on Twitter, and e-mail [email protected] to find out how you can get involved. We hope to hear from you!


Jeremy Atie is a School of Arts and Sciences senior majoring in political science. He is president of Rutgers for Hillary.

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