UMKC College Democrats debate immigration

The College Democrats talked about several topics at their meeting last week, from Senator

Claire McCaskill to immigration to Hispanic ethnicity.

There were two guest speakers present at the event, one talking about Hispanics and politics, the other talking predominately about medical marijuana and its struggles to be legal.

After some perfunctory details, College Democrats President Ben Rakin, introduced a speaker from McCownGordon Construction, Pat Contreras.

Contreras spoke about developing financial opportunities for the urban poor. He also mentioned that he was a former member of the United States Foreign Service, serving in Mexico and Pakistan for a few years.

While Contreras trumpeted his strengths, he also emphasized that he was a team player.

“Ask everybody for help,” he said somewhat early on in his talk. He also mentioned that he was going to form a PAC, or a political action committee affiliated with McCownGordon.

Contreras strongly favored working with the community, not to mention the political sphere.

“It takes that kind of outward engagement,” he said.

Ben Rakin had his own emphases when the topic of immigration reform came up, he asked the audience, “How do we fight for that?”

He also mentioned he worked as an intern with Senator Claire McCaskill’s campaign, and mentioned how arduous at certain points it could be working on her campaign.

There was mentioning of the Dreamers. The College Democrats talked back and forth about how and if these immigrants could be allowed to stay in the country, despite the attempts by the Trump Administration to work things to the contrary.

Caroline Moriarty, the communications director for the College Democrats, was thrilled with

how the event went. She mentioned how important the arena of public service was.

“I was inspired to keep working hard to elect those who represent my interests,” Moriarty said.

UMKC student Izabella Vadovicky expressed her excitement about the meeting, especially in terms of herself and others.

“Another thing that stood out to me was how they stressed the importance of going out into the community, taking action on what matters most to you, and volunteering,” Vadovicky said.

Her theme resonated with other members of the audience, who talked about their passion for politics.

Ben Rakin was overjoyed with how the event went.

“I was really happy to see so many new students showing up, and we had some great conversations inspired by really interesting speakers,” Rakin said.

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