Santa Monica High School

Democracy in action: Parking lot duty

Recently, Representative Ted Lieu (D-CA) hosted a town hall event at my high school, Santa Monica High School. When I heard that he was coming, I looked to see if there was a way that I could volunteer. I have become increasingly more interested in the political process since the recent November election, and thought that this was a great way for me to get involved. I was very excited to finally have a chance to get a close-up view of how our democracy works.

Were there going to be protesters? Would there be any sort of altercations? These were some of the things that were going through my head. So I arrived at 5:00 p.m. sharp, eager to do my part for democracy. I was initially assigned to parking lot duty. I was kind of bummed that I would not be doing something more exciting. It was a very mundane job, but I was still proud to be helping out.

During the event, I was truly able to see how a town hall works. Rep. Lieu gave a speech, which was… the way it should be. There were no protesters. No altercations. It was just an exchange of ideas, between constituents and their representative.

And that is how democracy in a civilized society should be. Rep. Lieu did a great job of informing the audience what has been happening in Washington. He explained the failure to pass the American Health Care Act, which was very interesting to me. He also explained the ongoing saga that is the Trump-Russia story.

And, as happens in basically every town hall, there were questions at the end. Rep. Lieu answered the questions to the best of his ability, and gave his constituents solid answers.

The coolest thing that I got to do was meet Ted Lieu. All of the volunteers got the privilege to shake hands with the representative. We also got to talk with him a little bit, and I got to see the human side of a politician.  At the end of the night, I was back out at the parking lot, with not much action. But I knew that I just did something to help keep democracy going.