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Santa Clarita City Council candidates meet and greet COC students

Posted: March 19, 2014 5:05 p.m.
Updated: March 19, 2014 5:05 p.m.

City Council candidates flocked to College of the Canyons Wednesday to share their platforms with students.
Eight of the 13 candidates running for Santa Clarita City Council participated in the event.

COC Political Science Adviser Deems Morrione believes the meet-and-greet is a unique opportunity for students and candidates both.

“It allows the City Council candidates to meet a demographic that they don’t always get to have contact with,” he said. “It allow students a chance to take part in local governance.”

Candidates Sandra Bull, Stephen Daniels, Berta Gonzalez-Harper, Maria Gutzeit, Duane Harte, incumbent Marsha McLean, Gloria Mercado-Fortine and Paul Wieczorek supplied information cards to passersby at the noon event.

For Akhil Cherukupally, COC’s political science club president, the presence of local politicians inspires students to find a link to an easily accessible form of government.

“The students’ mentality is that local government is somewhere far away and they don’t get to interact with it,” he said.

Cherukupally believes students are aware of most of the complaints and problems that Santa Clarita faces, and they want to take action.

“They make a point of it and get to make their voices heard,” he said.

COC student Furman Flores said the event was a solution to the “growing number of students who are unaware of who they are voting for.”

“A lot of my friends don’t know about local government and politics,” he said. “Having candidates here is a big opportunity to get students involved.”

The event resulted in at least one student deciding to vote after speaking to a number of candidates.
“I am voting,” COC Student Nir Hazon said.

“I saw this and came and met people who showed me things based on qualification, and I will base my vote on that.”




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