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New Website!

Posted by ucdems on May 4, 2009

We have a new website!


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Things That Leigh Is Excited About, Pt 1

Posted by ucdems on April 16, 2009

A collection of sites that our fearless leader has spammed our (at least, my) inboxes with…





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What Exactly is the Gala?

Posted by ucdems on April 7, 2008

I’ve heard multiple times–from multiple people–that they have NO idea what the Gala is, but they see it everywhere. You’ve seen it, too, I’m sure–the umlaut, “it’s back,” the posters that are decorating campus–but, really, what is it?


If you don’t know what the Gala is, you’ve come to the right place. I’m letting you in on the big secret of what it’s all about and why we work so hard to bring it back every year.


The Gala, to put it simply, is a celebration of progressivism


Every year, UCDems takes off some time from its normal barrage of events and meetings in order to break off, in conjunction with lots of other amazing and progressive RSOs, into the Gala Steering Committee. Together, we attempt to bring you one fabulous night of programming on issues that are interesting and important to this campus–issues that are important today, were important yesterday, and will be important tomorrow.


We’re thinking for the future.


We’re not thinking simply about who or what will draw an audience. We’re planning for what can have an impact on those who take part in the celebration. We want these issues to be interesting, and to keep you on your toes. We want the Gala experience to be something you carry with you. We want to remind you how to face a world of corruption, injustice, and hypocrisy with new eyes–we want you to remember why you believe in the things that you care about.


That’s all nice, but what EXACTLY does it mean?


This year’s theme is Women in Washington with our amazing guest speaker Gloria Steinem (if you don’t know her, learn how she changes the world here). On top of that, we’ll be having panels on women’s issues with equally amazing speakers (the likes of which will be publicized shortly, I promise). We want to highlight the issues that men and women face in relationship to one another and how this translates into all aspects of life–especially life in political spectrum. 


That doesn’t sound like a celebration…


While listening to amazing people speak eloquently is our idea of fun, we understand that it may not be everyone’s idea of fun, so there will also be DINNER, MUSIC, DANCING, and a slew of PERFORMANCES that are really awesome.


Sounds good to me, where do I sign up?

The Gala will be taking place on MAY 3 (Saturday) from 6-9pm. Gloria will be speaking in Ratner (doors open at 5:30pm). Then, after her speech, we head over to the Smart Museum for the other panels, Gloria’s Q&A session, and the entertainment. Stay tuned for more information about tickets and a timeline of events.


If you have a strong belief in what we’re hoping to accomplish with the Gala, we’d LOVE for you to come help us out. We’re always looking for volunteers and people to help plan the event, so if you’re interested e-mail Laura at lktwining@uchicago.edu and tell her you’d like to volunteer. We still have openings on the Finance, Logistics, Outreach, and Communications Teams. 


We also hold Gala Meetings at 7pm in Bartlett Lounge EVERY MONDAY. 


The Communications Team has special meetings on every Thursday at 6:00pm in Hutch (we sit at a big round table in the middle and there will be a kid with crazy curly hair named Blake that’s one of the co-chairs, so just keep an eye out for him if you don’t know anyone else on the CommTeam).

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Posted by ucdems on February 5, 2008

Our amazing Super Tuesday results watching part is TONIGHT at 7 PM in Hallowed Grounds. Come for FREE FOOD, politics, and a chance to be featured on ABC News! You know you want to… 

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Posted by ucdems on January 29, 2008

I know it’s still a week away, but it is never to early to get pumped. UC Dems are throwing a results watching party in Hallowed Grounds from 7:00 – 10:00 pm CT. There will be food, drink, and conceding candidates. Come watch Giuliani drop out, (if he’s not gone already), and the selection of the future president of the United States. We will be joined by ABC News’ film crew who will be on hand to broadcast the event. Come be on TV!  

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Maybe I’m Too Nice…

Posted by ucdems on January 29, 2008

On Saturday, it was announced that what appears to be a large U.S. spy satellite lost power and will come hurling toward Earth in late February or early March. The uncontrolled satellite comes carrying deadly hydrazine (rocket fuel) that has the potential to cause harm to anyone who comes in contact with it. It is reported to be about 20,000 pounds and is the size of a small bus. What’s more is that no one has any idea where it might come down.


Pretty freaky stuff, right?


Well, it’s not the first time this has happened and doesn’t appear to be the last. 


According to Gordon Johndroe in a CNN News article (here), multiple satellites have fallen out of orbit, but have done no damage. The article even goes on to mention that the largest uncontrolled satellite re-entry was back in 1979 when Skylab (78 tons!) fell into the Indian Ocean. And according to NASA (article found here), most orbital debris falls into the ocean (or at least sparsely populated areas) which makes sense considering that 2/3rds of the Earth is water.


I’d say we’re a pretty lucky bunch so far. 


But this whole situation reminds me of that episode of “The West Wing” where Ed and Larry give Donna the fax about the Chinese satellite that’s hurling toward Earth. Everyone just brushes it off or laughs at it. Donna’s terrified. I don’t blame her. I’m a little freaked out myself. 


Josh even remarks, “Since the first year we started putting man-made objects in space, 17,000 have come back and remarkably, not one person has been hit…So, I suppose there’s an argument to be made that we’re due.”


Remembering that, I’m still a little terrified, maybe even more so, but that’s not what worries me the most. What worries me the most is everyone else’s reactions to this news. Granted, my sources come from the AOL News message boards that run underneath each story they post. Every time I read a comment dedicated to this particular story, I cringe and a large part of me wonders what happened to cause these people to turn into seemingly invincible participants in a hate-filled discussion. Perhaps reading the comments underneath an AOL News report isn’t exactly an accurate representation of human empathy or compassion, but when I read things like, ‘I hope it falls on the white house with bush still in it’ or ‘i hope it lands on hillary’s head,’ I can’t help but wonder what has happened to this country.


While I’m no fan of the President, I would never wish for him to be anywhere near the debris when it falls. I do not understand the compulsion of one person to hurt another–especially when the two have never met. There are ideological differences, yes. There are even intense feelings of hatred, disappointment, and betrayal. But for one person to willingly and openly hope for another person to die because of they are different in some way; that, I will never understand. 


I was under the impression that differences and plurality of opinion were what make this country so interesting and resourceful.


When did this self-righteous, need-to-be-right become part of mainstream dialogue?


When did we become so vicious and cruel to one another?


And why?

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“Something Great Could Happen…”

Posted by ucdems on January 29, 2008

Go read this article on Michelle Obama & the campaign:  http://www.newsweek.com/id/96446 

Despite my feelings on the presidential race (which haven’t been fully decided upon), I really love this article on Michelle Obama. I think she raises some very good points for the Obama campaign while at the same time addressing issues of national importance.

I’m glad that Michelle Obama is speaking out about race and politics. And having read this article, she impresses me with the insight that she has about the greater American political process. Maybe I should have known just how smart and eloquent she is, but, personally, I haven’t heard much from her yet. But now that I’ve heard the things that she has to say, I’m really hoping this won’t be the last. 

I especially liked her comment on the first page of this article about her comments regarding her “humanizing” Barack by talking about his flaws: “The more we put people on those types of pedestals, the more we welcome disappointment.”

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Something to Remember This Election Season

Posted by ucdems on January 22, 2008

Other than the cheap shot at Hillary at the end of this article that ruined the entire thing for me (but then again, I doubt I will ever align myself with Republican ideals), I think this is something that is applicable to both parties in an overarching sense. Pardon my horrid allusion to Project Runway (with which I am more than a little addicted to at the moment) but: “Remember, in POLITICS, one day you’re in, the next day you’re out.”


Although it looks like it’s going to be a very exciting time for our party, we also have to remember that the current downfalls of the Republican Party can all-too-soon become the downfalls of the Democratic Party. 


This article is important to the future of not only the Republicans, but the Democrats as well. We cannot afford to ignore those things that have caused the temporary decline of a powerful political party. If we have any hope to reclaim the losses we suffered in 2000 and 2004, we need to understand the ways in which we could possibly lose and refuse to let them happen. 


So, go: try to stomach the sly approval of the No Child Left Behind Act and look past the shamefully underhanded crack at Hillary, in order to find a deeper truth from which even polar opposites can learn.

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Playing the Gender Card

Posted by ucdems on January 10, 2008

If you haven’t already, go to the New York Times and read the Op-Ed written by Gloria Steinem, “Women Are Never Front-Runners.” (http://www.nytimes.com/2008/01/08/opinion/08steinem.html?_r=2&oref=slogin&oref=slogin

Why is this important?  

I promise, it’s not just because this is a pro-Hillary piece (put candidate allegiance aside and just go read it).   

In two years, it will be the 90th anniversary of the 19th amendment. Less than a hundred years have gone by and, still, feminism is a dirty word. Strong women–whether democrat, republican, independent, or otherwise–should be celebrated. Women who aren’t afraid to stand up and say, “I believe in equality,” should be applauded.  

This is more than one woman endorsing another–this is one woman saying that it’s not a bad thing to be a woman in politics. This is one woman who wants a repeat of what happened in New Hampshire–that being, a surge in women voters. This is one woman who remembers the struggles of the rebirth of feminism, led the revolution anyway, and is still passionate about it.  

Not everyone thinks that Hillary is “it.” And both sides have valid points. 

But this is more than an election. This is a turning point in the involvement of women. Maybe they are coming out for Hillary. Maybe they are coming out for Obama. Maybe they are coming out for Edwards, Richardson, McCain or Huckabee. I can’t be the judge of that. But I do know that more women are coming out to vote. 

We’re getting our voices heard…and I like the sound of that.

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Questioning the Inevitability

Posted by Leigh on November 12, 2007

The consistent argument I hear from Obama supporters is that Washington cannot stand four more years of the status quo. However, it seems that this has been the argument of every presidential candidate. “Washington is corrupt, but I can change it.” Obama is just more effective than others. Policy wise I personally feel that Clinton has better positions, specifically healthcare and energy policy. But my more cynical side worries about candidates at the bottom of the ticket in swing districts. I’m afraid that four or eight years of Clinton will revitalize a demoralized and crumbling republican base. I don’t think that they can beat her, but I worry about the post Clinton Democratic Party. I am not expressing my support for Obama, but I have certainly moved onto the fence, and have many hour of soul searching before I send in my ballot.   

Here is the speech Obama gave to at a fundraiser in Iowa. No wonder he has so much money.  

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