New Era Colorado promotes caucus and congressional candidate awareness
With banners that read “Rock Out with your Caucus Out!” on display, New Era Colorado hosted an event at the UMC Atrium on Thursday with the intent to promote awareness to students about the upcoming caucus.
“We are trying to promote that students need to be politically and civilly engaged all the time, not just once every four years,” said Steve Fenberg, the executive director of New Era Colorado.
The caucus, which will take place on Tuesday, Feb. 5, will be one of the earliest caucuses Colorado has held. Fenberg said this fact is important because Colorado’s vote will actually matter when it comes to selecting the candidates.
“The caucus this year is important because it is earlier than ever before in Colorado,” Fenberg said. “In the past, no one ever wanted to show up because at the time of the caucus, the candidates were usually already decided.”
Fenberg also said that because Colorado is holding their caucus on “Super Tuesday,” candidates are now directing their attention toward the people of Colorado.
“This is the first time Colorado will have a real say,” Fenberg said, “Now candidates have to pay attention.”
In addition to caucus awareness, New Era Colorado also endorsed their upcoming event, “Meet the Candidates.” The event, which will take place on Monday, Jan. 28 at the Boulder Theater, will host a debate between the three Democratic congressional candidates.
“(Meet the Candidates) will be a YouTube broadcasted debate of the congressional candidates who are campaigning to fill Mark Udall’s spot,” said Shadi Murib, a junior political science major and intern for New Era Colorado.
In addition to distributing fliers and information about the three candidates, New Era offered to film questions students had for the candidates. Murib said the questions that are most likely to encourage debate will be shown at the event.
Questions to the candidates ranged anywhere from environmental concerns to health care and financial aid.
Fenberg said that the debate is an important resource to students because it will provide information about a branch of government that has its campaign often overshadowed by the presidential race.
“Students need to realize that Congress is really where the law starts,” Fenberg said. “If you don’t have the right people in Congress, nothing is going to pass.”
Caitlin Mc Shane, a freshman international affairs major, said she agrees more focus needs to be placed on congressional candidates because they are able to relate to people on a more local level.
“The congressional candidates are more personal to you because they come from where you come from,” Mc Shane said.
Murib said that even though a lot of focus is placed on the presidential race, students are probably still aware of who is running for Congress. He also said the debate will be able to provide them with the information necessary to narrow down their choices.
“Students have probably heard of the candidates’ names, but aren’t sure of who they support,” Murib said, “This debate will be a tool to help them decide.”
Fenberg said the debate can be described as an innovative and different approach to promoting the candidates in that the debate will target the younger demographic.
“Typically, candidates make appearances at places like the public library, which is not a place where young people are likely to show up,” Fenberg said. “This event will bring the conversation into a setting that young people are more comfortable with and will bring candidates to target an age demographic they typically don’t talk to.”
Mc Shane said the debate is a necessary occasion for students to take interest in order to make their voices heard.
“The youth can have a lot of power if they choose to have it,” Mc Shane said.
Contact Campus Press Staff Writer Sara Fossum at firstname.lastname@example.org