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Thursday, October 21, 2021

Students fight for clean politics

<p>Brittany Bowen, 18, left, fills out a pledge card while Janine Monfries, 21, helps with the “Power Vote” campaign on the Plaza of the Americas on Thursday.</p>

Brittany Bowen, 18, left, fills out a pledge card while Janine Monfries, 21, helps with the “Power Vote” campaign on the Plaza of the Americas on Thursday.

Students petitioned for clean and green politics on the Plaza of the Americas on Thursday, and all they had to do was have their pictures taken.

Neon green signs attracted students to stop, fill out a “Power Vote” pledge card and have their pictures taken with signs that read, “I am a voter and I want clean and green politics.”

The pictures will be sent to political candidates to show that young voters want clean energy solutions, said Heather Dean, a 21-year-old political science senior and event organizer.

“We want candidates to put people over profits,” she said.

Power Vote tries to mobilize young voters to build momentum toward clean-energy solutions and to get “dirty money” from big-spending, polluting corporations out of politics.

The campaign held its National Day of Action on Thursday, and UF was one of seven Florida campuses that participated.

“We want to go viral that the environment and climate change is a top issue for young voters,” said Cara Cooper. “We want candidates to start addressing it if they want to get our vote.”

Cooper, with the Southern Energy Network, is working on the “Power Vote” campaign throughout the state.

Volunteers asked passers-by to use social media to contact CNN’s Candy Crowley, who will host the second presidential debate.

“It’s important to tell our congressmen and women what young people want, and I like the clean air idea,” said 18-year-old food science and human nutrition freshman Christa Torrence.

Nineteen-year-old Camille Mekwinski, an environmental engineering sophomore, filled out a pledge card and petitioned with a picture.

“I feel like we owe it to the community to give back to it,” she said.

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Brittany Bowen, 18, left, fills out a pledge card while Janine Monfries, 21, helps with the “Power Vote” campaign on the Plaza of the Americas on Thursday.

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