Lauren Rabaino

The San Luis Obispo Democratic Club encourages students to register to vote in San Luis Obispo County, one of the issues that will be the primary focus of their upcoming meeting.

Cal Poly Democrats President Erica Janoff agrees that new students should register in this county.

“For the next four years, it’s their home, and the politics of this area directly affect them,” Janoff said.

To gear up for the 2008 election, the San Luis Obispo Democratic Club will be meeting at 6 p.m. on Jan. 21, the Martin Luther King, Jr. holiday to discuss their two-part agenda for the evening. The meeting will discuss the upcoming primary election on Feb. 5.

The meeting will be held at Golden Gong Restaurant at 290 Madonna Road, where a family-style Chinese dinner will be available for $15. This includes a $2 club donation. Those interested in the conversation alone can show up at 7 p.m. to skip the dinner and attend the meeting.

“The most important goal of the club is to help register and re-register voters,” former club president John Ashbaugh said.

Ashbaugh said this election is unlike recent prior elections.

“It’s probably the first time since 1928 that the situation is wide open,” he said.

Comparing the 1928 and 2008 elections, Ashbaugh referred to the fact there are no incumbents, presidential or vice-presidential, who are running this year.

The upcoming election will be an exciting race because there are no predictable outcomes, he said.

With all the issues surrounding war, the recession, and education, students at Cal Poly should take great interest in this particular election, Ashbaugh said. He hopes students “realize the high stakes and how much they will be affected (after the election).”

Brigette Bonfiglio, a nutrition senior and registered Democrat, believes a lot needs to change concerning foreign affairs in today’s society. This election is really important, she said, because “for the first time, there is a black man and a woman vying for the presidency.”

Janoff agreed with Ashbaugh and Bonfiglio’s opinions about the importance of this particular election.

“I think people have been a little fed up with politics lately, but that can change when people vote and voice their opinions,” she said.

The key question of the night will be: “What can all of us do, as a club and as individual Democrats, to help build the coalition needed to win in both June and November?”

Ashbaugh encourages all club members and participants to not only speak their minds and bring suggestions to help shape the club’s activities for the rest of the campaign year, but to start a letter-writing campaign, bring bumper stickers or display signs on the freeway or in their yards. These activities ultimately get the word out about a favored candidate or cause.

The headquarters for the club is located at 1110 Morro St. and is open weekdays from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m., and weekends from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m.

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