New Documentary Addresses Crisis of Flint, Michigan

“Flint Town,” an eight-part documentary series, premiered on the streaming service Netflix on March 2. The series was filmed over two years and showcases the struggles the city’s citizens have been enduring as a result of its water crisis.

The town of Flint, Mich. has been in a water crisis since 2015. Despite the explosion of media attention the issue received, the city continues to have lead-contaminated water in its pipes.

This issue has put a strain on the already-impoverished area.  Flint, albeit a decrease in violent crime over the past 10 years, is often referred to as one of America’s most dangerous cities. Citizens are beginning to lose hope of their society trying to find justice for them.

“Flint Town” exposes the negative relationship that Flint’s citizens have with its police force. In the opening minutes of the series, a man is shown who recently received 16 stitches as a result of an armed robbery. The police arrived 27 hours after the incident occurred. Having police respond over three to four hours after an incident arises is a common occurrence in Flint.

The town has limited resources as the police respond to endless calls of crime reports such as shootings and homicides. “Flint Town” revealed that as a result of budget cuts, the number of officers serving Flint’s 100,000 citizens has been reduced from 300 to only 98. On a maximally populated shift, only five police cars will parole the whole city. The severity of the area makes some parents worried for their children’s safety as they grow up.

Flint wasn’t always this way. The town used to be the home of a wealthy middle class and the American dream. General Motors gained its success there. But limited opportunity has turned the town upside down. In 2017, Flint was deemed the poorest city in America. It was also on FBI’s list of the top 10 most dangerous cities in the country. The show revolves around the conflict that one of Flint’s officers recognized: “How can the citizens trust the police to protect them when they can’t even trust their government to provide clean water?”

“Flint Town” shadows the lives of the police force and what they see. Unfortunately the police have become desensitized to death and crime since they see it constantly every day for work.

An overworked and understaffed police force cannot do an efficient job for a city. There is just no way. The documentary showed a citizen getting carded for loosely matching a description of a suspect while he was out walking. Flint’s citizens must always be on the lookout for being misidentified by the police.

This show should be advertised way more. This is something that people must see. Society should not let a group of individuals be exposed to a dangerous environment just because it has a large population of impoverished people. Shocking, emotion filled and thought provoking,

“Flint Town” is a powerful viewing experience. Hopefully this documentary sparks discontent within its viewers so more people will fight for the citizens of disregarded cities such as Flint.

The Monument Quilt Comes to SMCM

On Tuesday, March 6, the St. Mary’s College of Maryland Sexual Misconduct Advocacy and Resource Team (SMART) held a workshop for the Monument Quilt. The Monument Quilt, according to Sexual Assault Advocate and SMART Supervisor Kelly Muldoon, was an opportunity for survivors of sexual assault and their allies to share their stories and their support through making quilt squares.

“I just wanted to bring something new and healing to the campus,” stated Muldoon, who is in her second year working at the College.

Approximately 15 students, faculty and staff members gathered in Aldom Lounge across the afternoon to make quilt squares for the event.

The Monument Quilt was founded in Baltimore in 2013 as a way to create “a public healing space by and for survivors of rape and abuse,” according to the organization’s website. The quilt squares, which have been made by individuals at workshops across the continent, will be gathered and displayed across the National Mall in 2019.

“The fact that it’s becoming more public tells me that people are, are taking this more seriously, and it’s about time,” stated Muldoon; “I think that making it public creates a space where it’s safer calling someone one out.”

The Monument Quilt project holds a lot of similarities with the 1980s AIDS Memorial Quilt, which was comprised of quilt squares that bore the names of AIDS victims and was displayed on the National Mall in October 1987. By the time it was displayed, the AIDS epidemic had been six years in the making. Former President Ronald Reagan, who had been reluctant to publicly speak about a disease linked to homosexuality, had just made his first public comment about AIDS a few months earlier, near the end of his second term, when the disease had already killed more than 20,000 individuals in the U.S. and had been diagnosed in another 36,000.

The U.S. gains 321,500 victims of rape and sexual assault over the age of 12 every year, according to the Rape, Abuse & Incest National Network. The Monument Quilt, thus far, has 6,000 quilt squares to display, according to its website.

To learn more about the Monument Quilt, visit its website

Alumna Kerry Crawford gives Speech on Sexual Violence, National Security

On March 5, Dr. Kerry Crawford returned to her alma mater to give a lecture for the Phi Beta Kappa 20th Year Celebration Lecture.  Crawford graduated from St. Mary’s College of Maryland (SMCM) in 2007 and has since gone on to obtain her doctoral degree and become an assistant professor in political science at James Madison University.

The focus of this talk was the intersection of advocacy groups and foreign policy, following in the footsteps of her recent book “Wartime Sexual Violence: From Silence to Condemnation of a Weapon of War.” Crawford began her lecture by exclaiming that SMCM “still feels like home, a lot of years later,” and thanking the College for welcoming her back, before diving straight into her research.

Crawford explained that her field is a “study of change,” meaning the politics surrounding everything, including her focus of sexual violence and conflict, is ever changing. She began by describing the importance of framing and the rhetorical frames we use to alter how events are portrayed. She emphasized that no matter what, “persistence was and still is the key to keeping this issue alive and to expanding its scope,” noting that this formula was useful to anyone working to bring about a more just and civil world.

The framing of sexual violence as a weapon of war, as opposed to just something that happens in general, was not accidental according to Crawford. Instead, this framing was the work of dedicated advocates who urged the redefining of the issue, in order to allow it to stand out as horrific and in need of urgent attention. Though she admits frames can be limiting, because the idea of a frame is that it includes certain aspects while excluding others, she argues that how we speak about things matter. In this case, the ‘weapon of war’ frame is essential for understanding of sexual violence, as it allows the issue to be proposed to those who can shift policy, and effect change.

Crawford cites former Yugoslavia as the beginning of the discussion of systemic rape during conflict. She reads off a quote from her powerpoint from Roberta Cohen stating “Yugoslavia. That was the real opener,” explaining that before the devastating effects of conflict there, rape and systematic rape were not talked about, especially not in the context of war. This however was the galvanizing moment for the international community, especially governmental bodies whose job titles conveyed the protection of dignity, human rights and safety. Crawford also stated that “international law was largely silent before the 1990s. Sexual violence was too taboo to talk about, or not considered as high of a priority when you have, say, a genocide happening.”

Not only was the framing of sexual violence as a weapon of war useful for headlines, it also allowed advocates to link sexual violence back to the Geneva Convention. This link allowed activists to argue that as stated under the Convention, there were certain things in war that were off limits, and for their argument, it was the systemic rape of women in conflict. This framing was above all else, a strategic effort in order to make powerful leaders listen and care.

Crawford also went over some of the notable United Nations (U.N.) Security Council resolutions, regarding sexual violence as a weapon of war, such as Resolution 13.25, which noted that war has a disproportionate impact on women and girls. She also mentions Resolution 1820, which made sexual violence a tactic of war, as well as linking war more directly as a women’s issue.

These resolutions, Crawford noted, were the work of advocates who lobbied, campaigned and worked together in a coordinated effort to ensure that the issue was brought to light.

The distinction between ‘ordinary rape’ and ‘war-time rape’ was one that needed to be made, and though Crawford acknowledges the problematic nature of this wording, she explained that it had to be fit into this language so that the Security Council could be convinced that rape was not just an ordinary occurrence, but something that was making war worse.

Above all other factors, Crawford points to powerful allies, and what she terms embedded advocates, as the most essential factor driving the campaign to recognize the impact of wartime sexual violence. She pointed to the likes of William Hague, a British former Secretary of State for Foreign Affairs, who stated that “sexual violence in war is the 20th century slave trade.” She also gave much credit to the U.N. Security Council members spouses, who read about sexual assault in the Democratic Republic of Congo, and spoke continuously about it at breakfast, lunch and dinner until it became so annoying their spouses took it seriously. Crawford says these women, and some men, “effectively brought a Security Council Resolution to the table.”

Embedded advocates were most useful because of their inherent status as being embedded within the state and thereby able to take up a cause they are passionate about and give it a voice in the political arena. She also noted the effectiveness of grassroots activism such as a letter-writing campaign to sway the opinion of a judge during the International Criminal Tribunal.

Crawford noted that international lobbying is a give-and-take process, so when campaigning for a cause citizens may not get all of what they want, but they will still get some. She explains that how people speak about things, how they frame them, decides what traction they get within the complicated political world. She also noted that this framing of sexual violence as a weapon of war is not perfect, and that states still have ‘outs’ regarding holding their allies accountable.

At the end, there was a brief question-and-answer section where Crawford was asked about the future of women’s issues around the globe given the perceived animosity towards women under the Trump administration. She replied by stating that “the signs are troubling” and that “there would be some backsliding.” She explained however that she remains positive, stating, “If the leadership doesn’t come from the U.S., I’m confident it will come from somewhere.”

SMCM Celebrates Women’s History Month

In the tradition of celebrating heritage, St. Mary’s College of Maryland (SMCM) has been observing Women’s History Month throughout March.

There have been biweekly emails with trivia on notable women in addition to women’s history banners on the path by Campus Center. Every Thursday, the College shares profiles of powerful SMCM women on its Instagram and Snapchat accounts.

The 19th annual WGSX Colloquium, presented by the Women, Gender and Sexuality Studies program, will be held this year from March 21-22. All events will take place in Cole Cinema. The theme of this year’s colloquium is Dismantling Borders. This series will begin with a lecture by Nazia Kazi, assistant professor of Anthropology at Stockton University, on Islamophobia, White Supremacy and Systemic Ignorance at 4:30 p.m. and will end at 8:15 p.m. with a colloquium roundtable of all featured speakers moderated by Professor Joanna Bartow, professor of international languages and cultures, followed by a reception in Aldom Lounge.

March is Women’s History Month, which has been celebrated annually in the United States since 1987. The month was first observed as a week in the Sonoma, Cali. school district in 1978. In 1980, the week of March 8 was declared Women’s History Week by President Jimmy Carter, and in 1987 it was expanded into a month.

News-in-Brief: Senior Gala to be Held in Campus Center, Students React

One of many traditions for graduating classes at St. Mary’s College of Maryland (SMCM), Senior Gala is a semi-formal nighttime event that takes place during the same week as Commencement. In recent years it has been held off-campus — at least once at The Inn at Brome Howard, and at the State House in Historic St. Mary’s City — as well as outdoors under tents on Admissions Field, and, like last year for the Class of 2017, indoors in the Great Room at Campus Center.

Though last year’s location was a result of inclement weather, the Class of 2018 Student Government Association (SGA) officers have decided to again hold Senior Gala at Campus Center. SGA members and proponents of the location say that it saves money — cutting costs from around $80 a ticket to $40 a ticket, including four alcoholic drink tickets — while providing adequate space for mingling and dancing and making the task of catering the event easier. Bon Appétit will cater the Senior Gala as they have in years past.

The location of Senior Gala has caused conflict in the last two semesters. Opponents of the Campus Center location cite concerns over aesthetics, space and atmosphere, while some feel that students were not involved in the process when choosing a location.

Plans for Senior Gala were brought up at various SGA meetings last fall, and the issue was discussed at length on the Class of 2018 Facebook page. There, students pitched the idea of moving the gala to the State House or another location.

Evan Lesser, Senior Class President, responded with a group post saying that in order to host Senior Gala at the State House, for example, the Class would have to raise another $11,000.

Lesser also wrote that losing former Director of Student Activities Kelly Schroeder as a senior class advisor set planning and fundraising for Senior Gala back.

Lesser wrote that when Schroeder was removed from her position earlier last semester (see the November 2017 The Point News article for more information), “We lost a lot of experience and knowledge of how to fundraise and organize gala … During the time that she was gone we had no advisor … so we lost out on a lot of time being able to fundraise. We mostly had to spend this semester organizing everything rather than running fundraisers.”

The location of the 2018 Senior Gala has now been finalized and will be held at Campus Center on May 10 from 6-11 p.m. Nevertheless, students have continued to debate the issue on Facebook and offline.

Some seemed to point the blame towards low enrollment at SMCM, citing the lower funds available to SGA when there are smaller classes. Others applauded the decision as a cost-cutting measure, like Malik Jackson, ‘18, who wrote, “Making Gala accessible and open for [people] should be a priority. But if someone’s rich aunt or uncle wants to pay for the gala to be at the [S]tate [H]ouse, by all means go ahead.”

A March 2 email from Associate Dean for Retention and Student Success Joanne Goldwater described the event as such: “Cost: $40 (includes 4 tickets for alcoholic beverages) or $30 (includes unlimited non-alcoholic beverages) per person … Bring your fancy attire and enjoy beverages and hors d’oeuvres on the patio (weather permitting), dinner and dancing in a beautifully decorated Great Room, and making memories with your friends.”

Even with the location finalized and the debate seemingly settled, some members of the Class of 2018 have discussed the prospect of holding “Alterna-Galas” — some in jest, but some with what seem to be serious intentions. Proposed locations for alternative galas include off-campus locations like the Brome Howard Inn or on-campus locations like the Townhouse Greens, the State House, the River Center and Waterfront or the Edward T. Lewis Quadrangle.

With the date of Senior Gala and graduation fast approaching, SMCM students will have to see if organizers of would-be Alterna-Galas are serious about fundraising, planning and hosting the event or if the conflict doesn’t have the legs to extend past Facebook.

Correction: A previous iteration of this article referred to Malik Jackson as “Malik Johnson.”

José Ballesteros Publishes Anthology of Latinx Poetry

In 2012, José Ballesteros, professor of Spanish at St. Mary’s College of Maryland,(SMCM) launched and became the editor for Zozobra Publishing, an independent literary press that publishes bilingual editions of previously unpublished Latino and Latina U.S. poetry. In 2017 he published his second anthology entitled “Knocking on the Door to the White House” which will serve as the centerpiece for the VOICES reading on April 12.

The anthology is a curated and translated version of the Spanish-language anthology “Al Pie de la Casa Blanca,” published in 2010 by the North American Academy of the Spanish Language. Ballesteros said he altered the title to reflect the current political climate, saying “we feel that more than ever that it is important for us to raise our multilingual voices and take up space in some of the contexts that traditionally have been cordoned off to us as people of color.”

“Knocking on the Door of the White House” is the first bilingual poetry anthology for the Washington, D.C. region. It is notable for highlighting “the multilingual diversity, depth, and artistry of the D.C. area’s Latinx poetry scene. It serves as both an important collection of verse as well as an important document reflective of Latinx letters in the D.C. area from 2001 to the present,” according to Ballesteros. Several of the poets featured in the anthology will present their work at the upcoming VOICES reading on campus.

Ballesteros also noted that the anthology “would seem like a direct response to Trump himself or the current state of the GOP given their prevailing position on the plight of undocumented workers, but it’s more symbolic of the empowerment of the Latinx population as we continue to grow and thrive in the U.S. as a whole,” adding that recent political turmoil “is only the latest in a series of obstacles that many in our communities have had to overcome to continue to provide for their families both here and abroad.” He also commented that the political tone of the anthology is not targeting the Trump administration specifically.

He notes that “the verbal marginalization of men of color for political gains is nothing new in this country and unfortunately it is not particular to any political party or demographic.” SMCM alumna María Mateo, ‘17, also served as one of the translators in the anthology.

“Knocking on the Door of the White House” has already received praise, being named to Beltway Poetry’s Must Read list. Ballesteros said that he feels honored to have won the Must Read award against so many competitors. He stated, “I am incredibly humbled, but I’m not surprised. We spent years putting our books together to make sure they are superb and this would surely be impossible without the our authors,and quality editors, translators and D.C.-based bookstores that worked so hard on our behalf.”

The first book Zozobra Publishing released was Carlos Parada-Ayala’s book of Poems “The Light of the Storm” (2014). “Knocking on the Door of the White House” (2017) is Zozobra’s second publication.

For more information, visit

Dear Democrats: You’re Not the GOP, Stop Acting Like it

On March 5, Mississippi Senator Thad Cochran stepped down due to health concerns. According to NPR, his resignation comes as no surprise; Cochran has been absent from Congress for long stretches of time over the last year.

Senator Cochran has had a long and distinguished career of being on the wrong side of almost every political issue since he entered Congress in 1973. Thad Cochran is against gay marriage, was completely in favor of the drug war, supported the expansion of the U.S. surveillance state and supported both the Iraq and Afghanistan Wars.

Perhaps his most notable act in the Senate was when he took a brave stand along with seven other Senators to oppose a bill that formally apologized to lynching victims and their families on behalf of Congress, which repeatedly blocked legislation that would have made lynching illegal.

According to The New York Times in 2005 Cochran (who has Confederate President Jefferson Davis’s desk in his office) opposed the bill saying, “I don’t think I’ll get in the business of apologizing for acts that previous Senates took.”

Clearly, Thad Cochran is not a noble or even good person as some pundits have described him.

However, his resignation now leaves two Mississippi Senate seats open during the 2018 election cycle. According to The New York Times, David Baria, State House Democratic leader, has announced his candidacy for Senate. The Democratic Party is clearly hoping to see a repeat of the success Doug Jones found in Alabama.

The Mississippi and Alabama campaigns will mirror each other in their contentious Republican primary elections. In Alabama’s primary, Roy Moore, an anti-establishment Republican in the mold of Donald Trump, beat Luther Strange, an establishment Republican supported by Mitch McConnell. This pattern will likely play out again in Mississippi where Republican Chris McDaniel plans to challenge Roger Wicker. The New York Times reported that Chris McDaniel is backed by Steve Bannon, Donald Trump’s former Chief Strategist and former executive chairman of Breitbart, and plans to run to the right of Wicker who is viewed as an establishment candidate.

With a potentially messy Republican Primary and an energized Democratic base, it is possible that Democrats could capture one or two Senate seats in Mississippi. However, just sticking someone with a “D” before their name in the Senate isn’t good enough.

Just because someone is a nominal Democrat does not mean that they will support progressive values or stand up to Donald Trump. We have very recent examples of this in Alabama and Virginia.

In 2017 Doug Jones became the first Democrat to win a Senate election in Alabama since 1992, and what has he done since his election? According to FiveThirtyEight, Jones, along with 14 other Democrats, supported a bank deregulation bill, voted in favor of a bill that would continue warrantless wiretapping and voted to end the government shutdown (which was used as leverage to renew Deferred Action for Childhood Arrival). Sen. Jones is a useless Democrat who might as well be a Republican.

Akin to Doug Jones, Ralph Northam also won as a Democrat in a traditionally Republican state in 2017. During his gubernatorial campaign against his Republican opponent, Ed Gillespie, Northam seemed to be shaken by Gillespie’s anti-immigrant attacks, painting Northam as a sympathizer of MS-13, an El Salvadoran gang.

According to CNN, Northam, who previously voted in support of sanctuary cities, flipped his position to being anti-sanctuary city. Now that he is governor, he says that he will veto any legislation banning sanctuary cities.

This is the kind of strong, consistent Democratic leadership we have in Virginia: someone who flips his position as soon as he is attacked from the right. Beyond his inconsistency, Northam is just another vanilla Democrat who won’t rock the boat.

The practice of running these milquetoast Democrats in conservative areas is often justified by the idea that, “You can’t litmus test candidates based on your particular beliefs, in conservative areas Democrats have to be more moderate.”

It is, of course, true that some political positions will not fly in certain areas, and it is important to appeal to independents and Republican voters. However, in the process of reaching across the aisle, a candidate shouldn’t abandon their base or take it for granted. Center-right Democrats only demoralize the base of the party while passing right-wing policies.

It is also important to note that if someone is a social conservative, it doesn’t matter what a Democrat says. A Democrat will not be able to out-Republican a Republican on social issues like immigration or civil rights. Why would a social conservative vote for a Democrat running as a Republican when an actual Republican is in the race?

It is important to remember during this wave year that it is not sufficient to elect Democrats; their policies and record matter. If the left focuses on electing any Democrat who runs, it will have a hollow victory.

CSD Director Dr. Harkonen Teaches Course at Russian University

The Moscow State Institute of International Relations (MGIMO) and St. Mary’s College of Maryland (SMCM) have developed a relationship, sending scholars of international relations to each other’s campus. Most recently, SMCM’s executive director of the Center for the Study of Democracy (CSD), Maija Harkonen, traveled to Russia to instruct a class in U.S. foreign policy at MGIMO.

MGIMO is operated by the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of Russia. “MGIMO is one of the best universities in Russia and in the east of Europe in general,” according to one of Harkonen’s students Arnaud Coinchelin. The exchanges of expertise between MGIMO and SMCM is primarily based off of the professional relationship between Professor Tatiana Shaklenia and Dr. Harkonen. Shaklenia, the chair of the department of applied analysis of international issues at MGIMO, has visited SMCM two times, once in 2015 and another in 2016, to give lectures explicating the Russian perspective on U.S.-Russian relations. Shaklenia’s department invited Harkonen to stay in Moscow for a three-week course doing the reverse.

On her first day in Russia, Harkonen says she “bumped into” former Russian Ambassador Sergey Kislyak at a shopping center. “That was a good start for the trip; I met somebody who has been in the news for various reasons,” Harkonen explained to The Point News. Kislyak has been in the news mainly due to investigations into Russian interferences into the 2016 U.S. elections.

Per Vox, “When it comes to Donald Trump’s Russia scandals, one man has been squarely at the center of them all … Sergey Kislyak.”

On the supposed interference, Harkonen explained that “many Russians just shrugged their shoulders and say ‘well that’s what superpowers have been doing all along.’” She added that the level of influence may have come as a surprise to many of the people of Russia, saying that “I don’t think the Russians understood the power of social media.” According to Harkonen, a minority of people feel that election inference is a problem out of fear that they will be next in the hacking.

The influence of international superpowers is something most of Harkonen’s students spend a majority of their time contemplating. They were mostly masters-level students pursuing careers in foreign service. Her class of 47 students came from the likes of Germany, Japan, Switzerland, Canada and many other countries. “The course is designed to encourage students to discuss competing views of the United States’ role in world affairs and explore challenges the United States and Russia face today,” according to the syllabus. It was focused on how the United States functions on the world stage. It was taught in English.

According to CSD, Dominik Urak, a Ukrainian, was one of Harkonen’s students interested in furthering his understanding of interactions between the superpowers the course focused on, Russia and the U.S.  “It was just fascinating to be there … and discover in [their] minds how did they see the world, how did they see the United States,” Harkonen says. Students in her class were interested to know if the United States was “going to be the guardians of democracy?” Big questions came up in her class, such as, if the United States is not the going to be the leading superpower who would take its place? “Would it be China? Would it be Russia?”

“It is important for us not to forget that Russia is a nuclear power, it is an influential power,” Harkonen wished to remind the community. Russia “can be a force for both good and bad. It is part of one’s general education to know about … other superpowers.”

Correction: A previous version of this article used an incorrect acronym for The Moscow State Institute of International Relations. It should be abbreviated as “MGIMO” not “MIGMO.” References to MGIMO have been corrected throughout the article.

Lamb’s Upset Victory in Pennsylvania: What does it mean for the Democrats?

In a “a razor-thin but extraordinary upset,” Democrat Conor Lamb defeated Republican Rick Saccone for Pennsylvania’s 18th district congressional seat according to The New York Times.

This special election took place, according to Politico, after a vacancy opened when “anti-abortion Republican” Tim Murphy resigned after it came to light that he had asked a woman with whom he had an affair with to terminate a pregnancy. In 2016, Donald Trump won Pennsylvania District 18 by 20 percentage points over Hillary Clinton. While it’s possible the race results might be challenged due to how close the totals are — 627 votes separate the two men with more than 227,000 ballots cast — Lamb and his fellow Democrats are cheering. “It took a little longer than we thought,” Lamb said at a victory speech, “but we did it.”

As of March 19, The New York Times and Politico have declared victory for Lamb. He will be up for reelection in Pennsylvania’s 17th district this fall — due to a Supreme Court decision mandating that the Pennsylvania State Legislature redraw the district map —  and Saccone is planning to run in a new district in the fall as well. Aside from that, this race was seen as having national implications. Even if Saccone calls for a recount which sways the election back to his favor, the result will be good news for Democrats.

“Tuesday represented yet another huge Democratic overperformance in a Trump-era special election,” according to FiveThirtyEight. By their calculations, Lamb’s performance signifies a swing of voters’ preference by 22 points in favor of Democrats. The FiveThirtyEight analysis says that the results of this elections are “just the latest indication that Republicans are in trouble …  If Democrats can win districts like Pennsylvania 18, they won’t need to stretch and scrape together a House majority.”

Lamb’s performance likewise brought up new questions of Democratic strategy to win elections. Lamb ran with some more moderate-to-conservative positions. After Lamb declared victory, Republican Speaker of the House Paul Ryan claimed that Lamb was a “candidate who ran as a pro-life, pro-gun, anti-Nancy Pelosi, conservative,” at a press conference on Capitol Hill. President Donald Trump said, “[Lamb] sounded like a Republican to me.”

According to The Washington Post, Ryan and Trump are mischaracterizing Lamb, who ran against the tax cuts, not for them, and opposed regulations on abortions. Lamb was to the left of his opponent, Saccone, who described himself in 2017 as “Trump before Trump was Trump.” But Lamb was more moderate on his gun control stance. Such signifies a possible new strategy emerging for Democrats to win elections.

The Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee (DCCC) has been lambasted by progressives for supporting moderate candidates despite some energy coming from the parties more leftist base. According to NPR, support of centrists could hinder Democrats attempts to “capitalize a groundswell of grass-roots, progressive activism from gun control and immigration to renewed activism among female voters motivated by opposition to President Trump.”

Lamb’s campaign however has been used as evidence for supporters of the strategy of having candidates from across the political spectrum. According to former Democratic Representative Dan Glickman in a op-ed for The Hill, Lamb’s probable victory shows that “a calm, thoughtful and polite moderate is a winning strategy once more.”

The primary race between incumbent conservative Democrat Dan Lipinski and the progressive challenger Marie Newman from Illinois, has been described as microcosm for this schism. The two are on opposite sides of many wedge issues — abortion, the Affordable Care Act and some immigration disputes — but are running under the same party for the same seat. Selecting who represents the people of their districts, and will carry the Democratic label to face off against their Republican challengers is an issue the DCCC will have to face when they make their endorsement.

Nevertheless, according to Vox, Democrats are seemingly on a winning streak. But the true test will come in the 2018 midterms when all 435 seats in the House of Representatives, 34 of the 100 seats in the Senate and 39 governorships will be contested.

One Month Post Parkland, Students Lead National School Walkout

Update: A shooting took place at one of the schools mentioned in this article, Great Mills High School. To read more about it please click here.

In an act of remembrance for the 17 students who were killed in February’s Parkland, Fl. school shooting, a call to action against gun violence, and a message to legislators to enact gun control, students from across the United States of America walked out of their classrooms in protest on March 14.

Participating students, teachers and other school-related personnel were instructed to leave their classrooms for around 17 minutes — one minute for each victim from Parkland — at 10 a.m.

The event was organized by the Women’s March Youth Empower group. They report that 3,136 walkouts took place, some of which happened internationally.

“Protect Students, Not Guns,” read one sign held by a student in Chicago, Ill. “Protect our kids, not the NRA,” said another in Seattle, Wash. In Boston, Mass. a sign read, “Protect our Future, Vote.” In some school systems, the walkout was a school-sanctioned event, while in others students were threatened with disciplinary measures — from detention to suspension — for their protest.

In Maryland, many students took advantage of their proximity to the capital of the United States. Holding signs asking “Am I next?” and stating “We Will Be Silent No Longer,” students from Montgomery Blair High School in Silver Spring and Bethesda-Chevy Chase High School marched to the White House, approximately eight miles, where they sat in silence for 17 minutes, according to WAMU.  

In St. Mary’s County, according to The Baynet, students from Leonardtown, Chopticon and Great Mills High Schools participated in the National School Walkout.

Their actions were neither supported nor opposed by the schools’ administrations. According to The Baynet, administrators said: “they would not restrict the student’s First Amendment rights.”

Most members of the St. Mary’s College of Maryland community were home for spring break during the walkouts, but the Student Government Association plans to orchestrate workshops and facilitate travel to the #MarchForOurLives event in D.C. on March 24.