Political clubs take action against injustice

Rocks+painted+by+members+of+Students+Demand+Action+on+issues+such+as+Black+Lives+Matter+and+gun+violence.+

Photos provided by Paige Hoffer

Rocks painted by members of Students Demand Action on issues such as Black Lives Matter and gun violence.

Bellaire’s politically involved students believe that tomorrow’s future is in the hands of today’s youth. So much so that they are dedicating their time to inspiring change and action in our community.

“I think our biggest goal as a chapter is just to create a feeling of safety at our school and in our society,” President of Students Demand Action and senior Paige Hoffer said. “Especially recently, we’re really addressing inequality and bringing in talks about racial injustice and what we can do about it.”

An organization dedicated to combating gun violence and encouraging safe use and storage of firearms, SDA hopes to take action toward crucial issues that are less acknowledged, according to Hoffer. 

“We’re talking to HISD’s superintendent about increased security on campus,” Hoffer said. “What we noticed was that there’s a disparity in policing in AP classes versus regular classes, and we tried to address that discrimination and disproportionate policing was an issue. We’re also planning to have a meeting addressing racial and social inequities and gun violence.”

With the election just one month away, Bellaire Young Progressive members aim to ensure that the values they identify with are put into practice.

“What we’re going to be doing is focusing on congressional races,” President of BYP and senior Sernry Tu said. “In the general election, I think there’s going to be a lot of candidates in line with our thesis that we could campaign and phonebank for. We’re also going to be discussing electoral strategy: how the candidates we support can win or do better in elections.”

Along with concentrating on social and racial injustice and the upcoming election, Bellaire Young Republicans and Bellaire No Labels focus on bridging the gap between people of different political opinions.

“We hope to be planning something along the lines of a civil discourse debate between Republicans and Democrats, just as a way to decrease polarization inside of the school,” President of BNL, BYR and junior Owen Zhang said. “When you look at Congress and the government, you see that when one is Republican-heavy and the other is Democrat-heavy, we get nothing done. So, what we want to do is bring change and non-partisan solutions.”

Tu said he believes that something can be done if students dive a little deeper. 

“I think we could take a step back and discuss what is and what isn’t being talked about,” Tu said. “So, it’s like on Instagram, you see all the same activism material, but no one ever talks about worker rights. No one ever talks about these other crucial issues. As a club, I think that the fact that we exist is already really good for raising awareness. We’re going to be posting information about these pressing problems, because social media doesn’t talk about them. We’re also talking about creating a podcast to raise awareness, educate students, and bring political and social issues into normal conversation.”

When it comes to the overarching goals of these political organizations, they all have one thing in common.

“We all support justice and fairness for all individuals as a whole,” Zhang said. “In our club, we like to discuss these issues case-by-case. We just aim to do whatever it takes to make this country more fair and more just.”

Hoffer is confident that, despite the challenges presented by coronavirus, their enthusiasm for change will most certainly not dampen.

“I think that it’s probably not likely that we’re going to be able to attend protests and events this year, so instead, we’re just going to have to find ways to amplify our voices through any platform,” Hoffer said. “I know it’s less dynamic than showing up, but we’re definitely going to protest online and encourage students to speak up and be heard.”