STATE OF THE STATE OF THE STUDENTS:
What Our Team Has Done in 2020
Posted Sunday, June 28th, 2020
2020 has already left an indelible mark on our nation. The beginning of January saw the rise of the COVID-19 crisis, a global pandemic that has wrought over two million confirmed cases in the US. As the unjust police murders of George Floyd, Breonna Taylor, and Tony McDade came to light, the existence of a much more insidious underlying pandemic—the pervasive anti-Blackness and the systemic oppression of the Black body in our nation—emerged into the public consciousness. As people in America began to demand justice, Zoomers were there as well: attending protests, signing petitions, donating to bail funds, and mutual aid organizations. It is clear that now, more than ever, we need young people to be informed and to get involved. Here’s what our team has been working on this year to facilitate and encourage youth civic engagement:
Pizza & Politics with Dave Cavell—On New Year’s Day, we dropped the second installment of the series Pizza & Politics, with an exciting interview of Congressional candidate (MA-04) and former Obama speechwriter Dave Cavell. Our team asked Cavell about his experience in the Obama administration, why he is running for the seat in Massachusetts’s fourth district, and his love for applesauce. Featuring a cameo of Cavell’s adorable dog!
Pizza & Politics with Congresswoman Lori Trahan—Later that month, our team met in her office to interview Congresswoman Lori Trahan (MA-03). In this deep dive into the workings of the bureaucracy, Congresswoman Trahan spoke about the importance of the US Census, how constituent services work, and why she chose to go into public service.
Pizza & Politics with Senator Ed Markey—In our most controversial installment of Pizza & Politics yet, Senator Ed Markey declared his love for pineapple pizza. He also spoke about the public’s cynicism about the political sphere, how his personal experience led to his Alzheimer’s advocacy, and why young people should engage more in politics.
Pizza & Politics with Warren Staffer Darien Johnson—Our team interviewed the regional director of Senator Elizabeth Warren’s Boston office, Darien Johnson, about his experience working for a high-profile senator. Johnson spoke about how his education in homeland security informed his career choices, the housing crisis Massachusetts is facing, and the time he got a call from Senator Warren.
April Get to Know Your Government—The outbreak of coronavirus in the nation necessitated a push towards digital learning for students everywhere, including for us! On April 15th, a month after the initial shutdown of the state, we hosted a Zoom town hall with Congressman Jim McGovern (MA-02), state Rep. Hannah Kane, state Rep. Andy Vargas, and state Senator Anne Gobi. The panelists shared their thoughts on the government response to the pandemic and how their offices have adapted to digital constituent services.
Pizza & Politics with Jesse Mermell—The race for the open seat in Massachusetts’s fourth congressional district is hotly contested. Our team interviewed former Brookline Select Board member Jesse Mermell, learning about how her grandmother’s military service inspired her interest in politics, her time in the governor’s office (which she describes as like “drinking four fire hoses at once”), and her candidacy for the open Congressional seat in MA-04.
May Get to Know Your Government—In our third edition of Get to Know Your Government, our team invited Congressman Stephen Lynch (MA-08), state Rep. Tram Nguyen, state Senator Patricia D. Jehlen, and state Senator Joan Lovely to speak. The virtual town hall discussed coronavirus legislation, what elected officials are doing for their communities, and, as ever, the role young people have to play in politics.
by Kelly Hui, Communications Director
VIRTUAL GET TO KNOW YOUR GOVERNMENT
Posted Saturday, April 11th, 2020
State of the Students is having our first virtual Get to Know Your Government on April 15th at 5 PM ET! Students across the US are welcome to attend.
Here is the event description:
Have you ever watched the news and been like "what is going on"? Do you feel confused about what government actually does and how it affects you? Do you wonder about the difference between state, local, and federal government? Then come join our virtual Get to Know Your Government to have these questions answered from elected officials themselves!
Our panelists include Congressman Jim McGovern, Rep Hannah Kane, Rep Andy Vargas, and more.
RSVP to tinyurl.com/Apr15TownHall
Hope to see you there!
PIZZA AND POLITICS OUT NOW
Posted Sunday, December 1st, 2019
Have you seen our first video for Pizza and Politics with Congressman Joe Kennedy?!?! If not, go watch it right now. It's cool (and informative), I promise. We had so much fun chatting about congress & the importance of government in student lives-- and of course, enjoying some great pizza.
Stay tuned for more pizza (and politics)!
All the best as always,
"GET TO KNOW YOUR GOVERNMENT" RECAP
Posted Wednesday, April 10, 2019
This Monday, State of the Students held our first ever event- and it was incredible! From the amazing panelists to the equally amazing student questions, it was a truly fantastic hour. We were honored to be joined by Congressman Kennedy, Representative Alice Peisch, Senator Becca Rausch, Assistant AG Mary Strother, and Regional Director for Senator Warren, Darien Johnson. Thanks to all who came and engaged!
Much to come :)
First Event on April 8th!
Posted Sunday, March 23, 2019
That's right! State of the Students is having our first event on April 8th, called Get To Know Your Government: A Dialogue Between Students and Elected Officials. It will be at Wellesley High School from 11-12!
Here is the event description:
Have you ever watched the news and been like "what is going on"? Do you feel confused about what government actually does? Do you wonder about the difference between state, local, and federal government? Then come to Wellesley High School on April 8th from 11-12 to have these questions answered from elected officials themselves! This is an event made by high schoolers for high schoolers and is the first of its kind from State of the Students. Hear from Congressman Kennedy, Representative Alice Peisch, Senator Becca Rausch, and Assistant Attorney General Mary Strother and ask them your own questions about what they do. If you have any questions or concerns, please email us at firstname.lastname@example.org.
You can RSVP (right now!) here:
Hope to see you there!
State of the Students Executive Director
Where Have We Been?
A Quick Fall Update
Posted Wednesday, November 11th, 2020
You may have noticed that we’ve been rather quiet this summer—that’s because we’ve been hard at work expanding State of the Students across the country!
To date, we’ve opened SOTS chapters in 17 different states: Alabama, Connecticut, Florida, Illinois, Kentucky, Maryland, Pennsylvania, Minnesota, New Hampshire, New Jersey, New York, Oregon, Rhode Island, Texas, Virginia, Wisconsin, and Massachusetts. Check out these new chapters and see how to start your own on our join page.
We’re so excited to see all the amazing work that will come out of these new chapters. Stay tuned to see new Pizza & Politics episodes, Get to Know Your Government events, and more. In the meantime, watch our newly released Pizza & Politics with Congresswoman Katherine Clark, and follow our Instagram for more opportunities.
All the best,
SOTS Executive Team