The Community Engagement Team at California State University, Monterey Bay hosted the democratic debate viewing party on Feb. 19 in the Student Center. The debate, which took place in Las Vegas, Nevada, consisted of the six hopeful presidential candidates: Bernie Sanders, Elizabeth Warren, Mike Bloomberg, Pete Buttigieg, Joe Biden and Amy Klobuchar.
The watch party’s crowd consisted of students hoping to see change within the next election. Third-year Daniel Kufer wishes to see Bernie Sanders elected, due to his policies on healthcare. “I think [Sanders] has some good ideas, including Medicare for all going further than all of the other candidates,” Kufer said.
The debate focused on issues trending in today’s society such as immigration, healthcare and Bloomberg’s infamous remarks degrading women. Warren pressed Bloomberg to release the nondisclosure agreements from women who previously worked for him, but to no avail.
Buttigieg and Klobuchar had words for each other, especially after Buttigieg called Klobuchar out for sitting on the Senate committee that oversees border security and trade, but failing to remember the name of Mexico’s president in one of her recent interviews.
Second-year Ethan Quaranta also favors Sanders for his recognition and policies on climate change. “In my opinion, other people don’t seem like they are going to do enough when it comes to climate change,” Quaranta said. “Sanders acknowledges that climate change is real and provides real solutions to fix the problem.”
Bloomberg suffered scrutiny on his previous approaches to policing while mayor in New York. While his plan aimed to get guns and drugs off the street, he disproportionately targeted minority communities with police harassing people of color daily. Biden had no issue correcting Bloomberg on why his frisking policy ceased, attributing the credit to his work as vice president under the Obama administration.
Sanders, who has been leading in the polls, came under fire from Warren in regards to his healthcare plan. Warren stated advisors to Sander’s plan admitted his package “probably won’t happen anyways,” while calling Buttigieg’s “not a plan, it’s a PowerPoint” and Klobuchar’s “like a Post-it note.”
Second-year Charisse Cailles hoped to see issues on Trump taking out money addressed in the debate and controversies surrounding the border wall. Additionally, she hoped to see problems facing Native Americans acknowledged. “The neglect of Native Americans is an issue that needs to have more light shed on it,” Cailles said.
When talking about younger generations and the opportunities to vote, she noted, “From my experience, I do have a ton of friends that don’t care to vote. Me and a couple of other friends convinced them to vote, because we don’t want Trump to be back in office. By voting, you can be part of the movement in which he doesn’t get back in office.”
No matter your political allegiance, voting is a privilege that should be taken advantage of. The California primary election takes place on March 3. Make sure to have your voice heard by voting in person or by mail, as the Student Center will be accepting mail-in ballots that day. Be sure to participate, make a change and contribute to our nation’s future.