“Today was an extremely busy day. I woke up at 6:00 am, ate breakfast and headed to Senator Marco Rubio’s rally. When Senator Rubio arrived at the rally, everyone stood up and clapped like crazy. After his speech, he allowed audience members to ask questions then everyone surrounded Rubio to take photos and speak with the presidential candidate. I was lucky enough to get a selfie with Rubio before heading to his office to make phone calls.
Today, I also had the opportunity to walk around a Des Moines neighborhood and ask people about their opinion on Senator Marco Rubio. Part of my job was to report people’s answers to the campaign office through a phone app. The temperature was freezing outside! I was about 10 degrees but I survived! My door-knocking experience was fun, and people were kind even if they were not Rubio supporters.
After campaigning, I had the opportunity to visit a museum and learn more about the Iowa caucus. Everything was so exciting, but my day wasn’t over yet. I also had the opportunity to visit Senator Bernie Sanders’ campaign office. It was nice to get a view of a Democrat’s office. After I visited Sanders’ office, our whole group traveled to Drake University to meet up with all the Mikva Challenge students for Youth Issues Summit.
During the Youth Issues Summit, all us Mikva youth formed groups where we were asked to give a presentation on different issues; my group’s issue was education. My group and I created at stop motion video to illustrate important education issues. It made me think of how important education is here in Iowa and also back home in the eastern Coachella Valley.
Today was such a busy day but I enjoyed every minute of it. Working as a team with other youth from across the country was my favorite part of the day because I saw how we could all work together even though we didn’t really know each other. Goodnight!”
— Naomi Carrion
“I started this morning by attending Senator Marco Rubio’s rally. I was eager to hear him speak on immigration. Immigration is such an important issue in the eastern Coachella Valley. Listening to him speak about his plan for immigration reform reminded my of people back home who are very concerned about what will happen when President Obama leaves office. I felt like this was my chance to get as much information about his policy so I can help people inform people back home.
After Rubio’s rally, I traveled back to Senator Ted Cruz’s campaign office. At the office, I again more phone calls to potential Cruz supporters. While at the campaign office, I got to participate in a barbeque where I listened to Cruz supporters speak about their grass root efforts in Iowa. While these Iowans were speaking, I thought about how much they reminded me of my neighbors in Coachella. It seems like these people really want to work with their neighbors to fix issues and find common ground.
Later in the day I toured Senator Bernie Sanders’ office and then I had a chance to attend a rally for Hillary Clinton. I was able to hear President Bill Clinton and Chelsea Clinton speak on behalf of Hillary. I was a great opportunity to see how campaigns operate from both political parties. After the rallies, I headed to Drake University for a Youth Issues Summit.
At the summit, I participated in the group presenting on education. My team and I said that issues in Iowa, Chicago, Washington D.C. and Coachella can’t be solved if people don’t have access to a proper education.
After the summit, we all returned to our hotel to rest. After two and a half days of activity in Iowa, it’s almost time to say goodbye and pack up to go home.”
— Karla Martinez
About the authors:
Karla Martinez has been a youth reporter with Coachella Unincorporated for two years, where she has produced numerous articles and reflections on issues like community violence prevention to voter registration. In April 2015, Karla won the Young Lady of the Year Award for Riverside County District 4 for her work with the Land Use Planning Awareness project. View Karla’s author page here.
Naomi Carrion is a senior at Nova Academy in Coachella, Calif. Naomi joined Coachella Uninc. this fall as an apprentice and she is excited to make a difference in her community through her writing. Naomi also enjoys art and math. She hopes to attend college next year to major in math. View Naomi’s author page here.