The San Luis Obispo Guild Hall housed about 80 Democrats of all ages on Saturday, Jan. 25. 

Cal Poly Democrats partnered with the San Luis Obispo Democratic Party to host the third annual SLO County Democratic Convention last weekend. The day-long event featured three panel sessions with elected officials, a workshop session, a resource fair and a candidate meet-and-greet. 

Informational tables from organizations such as the Atascadero Democratic Club, the NAACP of SLO and the 5th County Democratic Club lined the room. 

Opening the convention with a few remarks, psychology senior Paden McNiff and political science senior Emma Sullivan shared their experiences with politics and the upbringings that guided their involvement with the Democratic Party. 

Video by Sydney Brandt

Cal Poly Democrats club co-president McNiff and club secretary Sullivan both said they have experience working on various campaigns and are passionate about cultivating change in today’s political climate. 

“It wasn’t until I lost my father to a heroin addiction in high school that I realized politics are personal,” McNiff said. 

The club’s executive members were followed by candidates and elected officials, including District 3 Supervisor Adam Hill and District 5 Supervisor candidate Ellen Beraud.

During his short speech, Hill touched on the critical issues that affect young people today — such as affordable housing and climate change — and emphasized the importance of the youth vote. 

Hill said he was proud of McNiff, who currently works on his campaign, and that organizations such as Cal Poly Democrats are the type of change that the country needs right now.

“I look to students for optimism, and for hope and also to feel good about where we’re heading in the future,” Hill said. 

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