THE RESULTS ARE IN!

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By: Brandon Milliken, Aditi Chatradhi, and Arjan Warya

Results

America has voted. Donald J. Trump is now on the road to the White House as the 45th President after his win over Democratic nominee Hillary Clinton, in what has become one of the greatest upsets in election history. When we take a step back and look into the numbers regarding this election, the factor that ultimately tipped the scales in Trump’s favor was education. CNN exit polls consisting of 24537 respondents revealed that 72% of white non-college educated men voted for Donald Trump, however, only 49% of white college educated men voted for him. Similarly, 62% of white non-college educated women voted Trump whereas among white college women, 51% voted for Clinton. These numbers revealed how in the white community, votes shifted more towards Hillary Clinton among educated voters but were very strong for Trump among non-college educated voters. Utilizing the votes of the non-college educated white community, Trump had some leeway to make up for Clinton’s strong support in the African American, Asian, and Latino communities. Regardless of ethnicity, the exit polls signified that those who were more educated with college and postgraduate degrees were more likely to vote Clinton rather than Trump. For instance, Wisconson, a major victory for Trump, followed this trend, with Dane county, which includes Madisona city Forbes named as one of the most educatedwas highly democratic with 71.4% voting for Hillary Clinton. However, in the rural parts of the state, Trump gathered enough support to win the state and its electoral votes. The trend continued in Pennsylvania where the counties with the three biggest cities, Philadelphia, Pittsburgh, and Allentown, had more votes casted for Hillary Clinton. As in Wisconsin, the rural vote carried Trump to win the twenty electoral votes from Pennsylvania.

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Along with that, state propositions, along with county bills, made headlines.  Prop 62, which would have repealed the death penalty, was voted against.  Its sister proposition, Prop 66, which would expedite death penalty cases, was voted for.  According to MAP’s views, along with the view of the Diocese of San Jose, this result is one we all have felt some remorse with the results.  However, for a measure closer to home, Measure A, which was the affordable housing act for Santa Clara county, passed.  Its passing would increase housing for the rising homelessness rate in the county.  As the cost of living becomes more challenging, Measure A helps those who struggle to find a home in our community.

In the next election, those of us who are still in high school will be voting. It’s important to keep in mind that it is not just the president of the United States that we are voting for. It’s also about the senators who represent us in Congress, our California State Senate and Assembly members who work on important issues that individual states face, propositions and measures that create major change in various areas, and our local officials who have a direct impact on our lives. Above all, it’s important that we are informed and aware about who and what we are voting for rather than simply reading headlines and scrolling through our social media feeds. Staying informed, and more importantly, clearly understanding the impact of who and what we vote for can help bring about the change that we, the people of America, deserve.

Reaction

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Across the nation, Trump’s victory over Clinton resulted in many people, specifically high school and college students, taking matters into their own hands through protests and demonstrations. One of the worst things that can occur in these events is crime of any sort, including vandalism and theft. Protests that result in crime will not lead to a change in the system. It’s important to exercise the right to freedom of speech, but it’s more impactful if those arguments are explained to the people who have the power to make governmental changes. In the Mitty Advocacy Project, we work to institute change through advocacy. Advocacy entails setting up a meeting with local assembly members or senate leaders to discuss bills and to ask for their support of the bill. By meeting with these powerful members of government, MAP expands its vision of aiding the common good. What makes advocacy so impactful is that it enables people to ensure government leaders act for the good of the people and it holds them accountable for their actions. Furthermore, to make change, exercise your right to vote and encourage others to do so. With this year being one of the most controversial elections, it was interesting to see a low voter turnout. Only 55.4% of eligible voters casted votes, a lower percent than the previous election where 60% of eligible voters voted. These votes have affected outcome of the election; therefore, it is important that in the next election, people go out and vote.

We may or may not be able to change the result of this election despite the dissatisfaction seen among many people, but advocating for specific issues that you are truly passionate about can and will stimulate and create lasting change in our society. Now that this election cycle has come to a close, don’t get discouraged if you feel that your vote didn’t count or you feel that your voice wasn’t heardit’s important to stay active and get involved in issues that you care about.

Social Media Campaign 2016

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Archbishop Mitty and Notre Dame High School students gathered for a social media campaign to spread awareness this week.

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It is a good chance to get information out to people prior to the Super Bowl to hopefully drive this crime from our community.

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Students in MAP and other advocacy programs in the Bay Area are unifying and working on this issue.  Join the discussion on Twitter #stoptrafficking.

Check out our photo gallery of the evening  GALLERY

Join the fight against Human Trafficking tonight!

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From 6-8 pst tonight January 13th students at Archbishop Mitty are using their phones, iPads, and laptops to combat a social ill that is affecting the Bay Area.  Although Human Trafficking is a perennial problem – evident spikes are seen around large events such as the Super Bowl.  

Our Plan

1.  We will release one major Human Trafficking fact every few minutes to spread on social media

2.  Join Twitter Feed #stoptrafficking to receive updates

3.  Help spread awareness tonight from 6-8 p.m. on your favorite social media outlets

At 6:30 we will play the gripping film Hark by Professor Jonathan Fung at Santa Clara University.

Goal

To help get the National Human Trafficking hotline # 1.888.3737.888 in the hands of one person to protect them from Traffickers.

Legislative Meetings on Capitol Hill

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Mitty students conducted highly productive meetings with California legislative staff on Monday:  Offices of Anna Eshoo, Zoe Lofgren, Diane Feinstein, and Barbara Boxer.  In a tough climate in Washington, Mitty students held strong to the core belief of pushing for laws to elevate the quality of life of the least fortunate in California.  Mr. Accorsi and Ms. Walker are so proud to accompany students with such integrity and professionalism.  Check out photographs from our meetings below.

MAP delegates at Zoe Lofgren's office
MAP delegates at Zoe Lofgren’s office
Mitty contingency at Anna Eshoo's office
Mitty contingency at Anna Eshoo’s office
MAP students at Diane Feinstein's office on Monday.
MAP students at Diane Feinstein’s office on Monday.
Celebrating a productive day before leaving Capitol
Celebrating a productive day with some laughter before leaving Capitol

Higher Education cuts hurt California growth

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by Sanika Puranik, Archbishop Mitty High School

With the current national debt of the United States fluctuating at 16 trillion dollars, the country is understandably looking to cut spending in several areas deemed “less important,” or “less harmed” than others. As a result, education budgets across the country have been slashed drastically, deemed an area that could afford to lose money and not suffer as much. While higher education has suffered drastic cuts, no system has been more affected than the K-12 education districts. Removing “unnecessary” programs, creating overflow of students, and lowering quality of education are only a few clear negatives that far tip the scale in disfavor of the budget cuts. While true that education is a large cost and much money can be saved through lowering the budget, the negative effects of the cuts far outweigh any positive result it may have, hurting our country more than doing it any good.

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University of California-Berkeley students, source: Washington Post

According to the voter-passed Proposition 98, K-14 [including community colleges] allots minimum funding to the Californian Education System, allowing its’ cuts to be equivalent, but no less, to other branches receiving minimum funding. The proposition also states that the funding fluctuates based on the state’s fund revenues. According to the Governor’s Budget the total amount allotted to K-12 education is 68.4 billion dollars.

Since 2007, various states, which are each in charge of their own public school system, have been forced to cut several extracurricular activities, compromise on class size, and give less thought to athletics. Now, as the problem grows worsens, practically all of the arts programs are being removed, non-mandatory classes such as technology are being cut, and schools are offering fewer and fewer Advanced Placement classes.

As Education Next, an education journal run by Harvard University, notes from March 2008 to June 2012, 250,000 jobs have been lost in the American public school system. With dwindling resources, teachers included, class sizes are beginning to grow exponentially. A freshmen biology class in 2006 would have been considered big with 25 students whereas 35 students seems normal to the freshmen of 2012. This greatly increases the student to teacher ratio and allows students less one-on-one time with their instructor to fully understand the subject matter. It additionally sacrifices quality as teachers are overloaded with students and begin to sacrifice details or lax grading rules. Lower standardized test scores also suffer as quality of learning steadily decreases. As Billy Walker, superintendent of the Randolph Field Independent School District, which serves the population of an Air Force base near San Antonio, Texas, was quoted in a Huffington Post article,  “The concept of doing more with less is admirable, but there comes a time when there is not enough left to adequately and equitably educate the children of America.”

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The sacrifice of extracurricular, athletic, and arts courses has had a much more direct effect on students in public schools. A large percentage of America’s youth has been affected by the economic crisis in that they homes have been foreclosed among other losses. Drug problems and other substance abuse problems as well as obesity also remain prevalent problems among America’s youth. Programs such as physical education, after school tutoring, theater, and drama help students not only in cultivating knowledge but also in maintaining their well-being by taking them off the streets or out of dangerous situations after school and involving them in healthier activities. By cutting such programs, governments are effectively telling students that those programs do not matter. Furthermore it denies students the opportunities to explore different areas for their own enjoyment or for a possible future. Similarly, by removing classes such as environmental sciences or AP government, students are denied the opportunity to explore higher level courses or subject matter in areas that might potentially interest them. Thus, it effectively pushes all students into the same box and offers them little room to choose their own path. Additionally from a college application standpoint, by taking less AP and honors courses as well as doing fewer extra curricular activities simply because they can not be offered puts students on an unequal playing field as compared to their less affected counterparts in private schools or in less affected areas of the country. Capable students should not be denied opportunities as a result of budget cuts.

Though deeply affecting K-12 education, budget cuts do not stop there. College scholarships and funding have dwindled in number and are competed for by a much larger group of students. Potentially this spells high school dropouts as college no longer becomes a viable option. Also with the quality of education declining along with the removal of classes, students may not be motivated to attend school, deeming it a waste of time.

With governments claiming that K-12 is the only place left to preserve money without making serious dent marks in our country, it is clear that the government is wrong. With increasing class sizes and fewer offered classes being only two of the many problems, the bad far outweighs the good when it comes to education cuts. With money being taken from the very institutions that prep future generations of active citizens, the unfavorable effects will be dragged with along. Simply put, the solving the economic crisis soon would help but right now, there are students receiving inadequate education or contemplating dropping out of school as a result of budget cuts. There is no question that our government needs to cut funds wherever it can to preserve money; however, education is definitely not the place to do it.

Archbishop Mitty student Sanika Puranik is a member of Archbishop Mitty’s Mitty Advocacy Project in San Jose, California.  A leadership program working to improve the quality of life for the unfortunate in California and throughout the U.S.  Follow MAP blog articles and updates on http://www.mittyadvocacy.wordpress.com.

Mitty Students Head to Washington

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Eleven Archbishop Mitty students along with Mr. Michael Accorsi and Mrs. Megan Walker are headed to Washington D.C. from November 12th to the 15th for a long weekend full of Advocacy training and legislative work.  Mitty students will be presenting at Georgetown Saturday night at 8:00 p.m. on Building an Effective Social Justice Campaign using Online Video.

On Monday, November 15th Mitty advocates will be meeting with the officials from Congressmen Honda’s, Lofgren’s, and Eshoo’s offices.  Additionally, Mitty will be joining Bay Area schools and advocates from Santa Clara University in Legislative meetings with Senators Boxer and Feinstein.

Our strategy for our visit will be focusing on the following issues:

Visit during the weekend to stay posted, see pictures on this momentous effort by Archbishop Mitty and Catholic advocates from across the U.S.  Follow us on Facebook and see MAP’s Google MAP.