Thursday Oct. 27, in Gibble Auditorium candidate Christina Hartman came to speak at a meet and greet for the Elizabethtown College Democrats. Hartman is running as the Democratic nominee for the 16th district seat in the House of Representatives.
Hartman was introduced by Lancaster County Democratic Committee City Chair Diane Topakian and spoke mainly about this year’s race.
She spoke of the importance of ‘getting out the vote,’ especially since our district is a moderate community. Since previous races have put the Republicans in the seats in the house, it is important to have options for the people of the district.
Hartman spoke mostly about how she has been an advocate for human rights and has been to 43 countries and worked in 20 of them. She started her campaign about two years ago, after wanting to continue to aid in the advocacy for human rights.
Hartman was born in Manheim Township and has since been on the campaign trail all over the district. Her talk focused on the district’s growing Hispanic population and how this new population will change the future.
Hartman said that being a woman has caused some advantages and disadvantages. Working in many non-profit organizations, Hartman acknowledged that there were many women involved in her line of work.
A member of the audience brought up the cost of college and the amount of student debt. Hartman assented that student debt is not only a problem for the students themselves, but also a gradual problem for the economy since students are paying back their loans and cannot use that money for things such as purchasing a car or putting a down payment on a house. Hartman focused more on gaining federal assistance and offering more free community college programs to place students in vocational schools to transition into a better financial future.
Hartman elaborated upon her stance on education and how this generation must focus on giving children a better future. By utilizing less testing and endorsing an entrepreneurial spirit, individuals will be able to invoke a better sense of critical thinking in the next generation.
She also spoke more about the economies of Lancaster, Chester and Berks counties, which make up the 16th district. With an array of local businesses, the opportunities to reach a global market are at a high, and larger businesses from our district are already national leading providers.
Sophomore Samantha Dickson asked Hartman about restorative justice, which related to a previous lecture with Melanie Snyder on Oct. 26. Hartman talked about the need for the US to enforce a rehabilitation program for criminals after they were released, since it costs less for these programs than the cost of returning to jail.
With many female candidates running for office, “2016 is the year of the woman,” Dickson said. A native of Maine, who decided to vote locally, she attended the event to learn more about the candidates.
“This is a historic election year, and I believe everyone needs to be cognizant,” sophomore College Democrats club vice president, John Koons said.
The club ran a campaign on campus for Bernie Sanders last spring with phone calls and canvassing by knocking on doors in the neighborhood. This year they worked with the Elizabethtown Democratic Club, who paired them with Hartman, and they have worked on promoting her within the area.
The College Democrats have built off of similar activities that the College Republicans club on campus partake in.
During the meet and greet time of the Hartman “Get Out the Vote” event members of the College Republicans club stood in the lobby of the Masters Center and held signs for District 16’s Republican nominee Lloyd Smucker.
The College Republicans have been promoting Smucker and have met him in the past. College Republicans club President junior Allie Vaccaro wants to make sure that both parties are represented on campus and “fight for Republican values for the local community.”