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Prop 30, Prop 32: Students In South L.A. Made 6,000 Last-Minute Phone Calls

Evan Budrovich |
November 6, 2012 | 10:40 p.m. PST


In a small building off Manchester and Normandie in South Los Angeles, Californians tirelessly worked the phones urging voters to favor Proposition 30 and disavow Proposition 32 hours before polls closed.

The building served as the home to the first African American Democratic Club in the Nation. Not knowing what I had got myself into, I stepped into the facility expect a staff of bogged down older men and women yelling and screaming to get people out to the polls.

Not to mention that Manchester is not your hard-core conservative area, leaving me to think that non-voters and uneducated electorate roamed the streets. What I found was unusual but quite inspiring. A hard working staff of teenagers jammed the phone lines while turning on CNN's live election coverage.

Organizers were frantically preparing for what would be the culmination of a months-long effort to promote Yes on 30 and No on 32. Pictures scattered the wall and people were bouncing with enthusiasm on the most patriotic night of the year.

The facility itself is located in one of the more dangerous areas of south Los Angeles but this does not detour the rigorous determination and effort given by these volunteers.

The current political head of the organization is Reggie Jones-Sawyer, the Democratic candidate for the new California 59th District. Jones-Sawyer was in attendance on Election Day and was quite the host.

According to a representative at the phone bank, more than 80 volunteers gave a portion of their time during the months leading up to the election.

One of the volunteers that spoke, Adrian, 25 gave a lasting account of his journey from high school in Mississippi to the struggles of getting classes in the crowded community college system.

“I volunteered because I wanted to get people involved and wanted to use my voice to help out my community college but receiving necessary funding through Prop 30,” said Adrian.

This local democratic organization made more than 6,000 calls on Election Day alone and totaled close to 18,000 calls to individual homes throughout the state of California.  Students battled the odds in some of the toughest economic conditions and continued the work to receive the economic funding they deserve.

They stemmed from South L.A. high schools, including Dorsey, Inglewood and Jordan. These students realize the importance of both Prop 30 and 32 because their basic education and parents union rights depended on California’s vote.

Students support Prop 30 for many reasons, most notably funding for their education. “In order to create more intelligent workers and get California out of its current crisis, we need to properly educate our students,” Adrian said.

As for No on Prop 32, “The Democratic Party stands on unions and the rights of the middle class, therefore we need to support these measures,” according to Adrian.

Reach reporter Evan Budrovich here.



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