Joining the Johns Hopkins College Democrats was one of the most valuable experiences I’ve had at Hopkins. The club is fun, especially because it’s a group on campus that is very active in the Baltimore community.
Every year, our club throws a kick-off barbeque. We throw this event for freshman to come and meet the upperclassmen involved in the club, eat great food, and meet politicians. Last year, Lieutenant Governor Anthony Brown attended. This year, Congressman John Sarbanes (D-MD) came to meet the members of our club and discuss what he believes are the problems facing Congress today and how we can help solve them. It was a cool opportunity to meet a US Congressman. It was also really exciting to meet freshmen that are interested in joining our club!
Our club provides tons of campaign opportunities. Everything from canvassing with local politicians, to phone banking, to working the polls on election days is available. We encourage everyone to utilize the opportunities and volunteer, because it’s a great way to involve ourselves in the Baltimore and greater D.C. community. It’s also a great way to meet politicians and local campaign organizers – these contacts can be great way to obtain summer internships.
We also love to sponsor trips to D.C. Last year, we went to the Rally to Restore Sanity And/Or Fear, hosted by John Stewart and Stephen Colbert. We took a bus down to D.C. together, and got to meet a ton of people and see the rally. It was great to go to D.C. and be part of a movement for dealing with our countries’ problems in a rational and cooperative way.
While going to the rally was incredibly fun, we also coordinate trips to D.C. for more serious events. Last year, we attended the annual College Democrats of America Winter Conference. It was such an awesome experience. In the morning, we attended the Democratic Convention. In the afternoon, College Democrats from schools around the country were able to hear from inspiring politicians, such as Senator Kirsten Gillibrand (D-NY), Congressman Debbie Wasserman Shultz (D-FL), and Governor Tim Kaine (D-VA). We were able to participate in workshops with these college students, who were from as far as California and Wisconsin, where we discussed strategies for campaigning and fundraising.
We always end the year with our largest fundraiser. We host a table during Spring Fair in the President’s beer garden. We’ve also sold t-shirts sporting phrases such as “Drink Liberally: JHU College Democrats” and “Best Ass on Campus: JHU College Democrats.” These fun spirited shirts are a great way to publicize our group to the Hopkins community, as well as raise money for our club so that we can sponsor politicians to come to campus and well as sponsor trips to D.C.
These are only a few of the many things that we do around campus. We have weekly meetings, campaign for politicians, travel to D.C., co-sponsor events with other student groups, fundraise, debate with the College Republicans, protest, and much more. This fall, we went to Occupy D.C., which was a really enlightening experience.
Hopkins College Democrats is a really fun club that’s open to anyone, regardless of one’s political beliefs. We believe in calmly discussing the issues and learning from each other, so that we can form our own educated opinions. If we see you around campus next year, please stop by a meeting – we’d love to have you get involved!
Campaign Director for JHU College Democrats
The Johns Hopkins University, Class of 2014