Beto O’Rourke to speak at Kent State


Photo of Beto O’Rourke courtesy of CNN.

Kent State’s College Dems announced former Congressman Beto O’Rourke will visit the university Sept. 25. Brandon Hawkins, the group’s president, shared the news with students at the organization’s weekly meeting Wednesday night.

“As we know, young people as a demographic do not vote as actively as they should. We’re trying to fix that and we felt that Congressman O’Rourke was a step in the right direction,” Hawkins said.

O’Rourke will meet students on Risman Plaza Wednesday at 6 p.m., give a speech and tour the May 4 Visitor Center and memorial site. 

The announcement came following a discussion led by Senator Elizabeth Warren’s Ohio Director, Anna Brichacek, and Akron City Councilman Shammas Malik. 

Students asked Brichacek about Warren’s stances on various issues, such as gun control and climate change. 

“[Warren] is in favor of an assault weapons ban, universal background checks, national gun registry and increased funding for research into guns,” Brichacek said.

In terms of climate change, she said Warren had several plans that involved eliminating carbon emissions completely by 2030 and providing workers in coal industries with resources to help them transition to other jobs. 

“She’s calling it her ‘Green Moon Shot’ because we don’t really have a choice. But, there is a way to do it, and her plan builds on a way to do it that doesn’t hurt the economy and doesn’t hurt the American worker,” Brichacek said. 

Malik said that when it came to campaigning for city council, going door-to-door proved to be most effective for him. 

“We knocked on all the doors we needed to knock on three times,” Malik said. “We ended up getting 81 percent of the vote, which is like, in no world did I think that was possible, but it was possible because we talked to people. Only because we talked to people.”

When a student asked about the best way to get involved with politics and campaigning while still in school, Brichacek advised students to get involved in anyway they can.

“Start volunteering,” she said. “Just get your foot in the door and show that you’re willing to work hard.”

Contact Zaria Johnson at [email protected]