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Adorned with an ‘Alexi 2010’ shirt, Kal Penn, better known as ‘Kumar’ from _Harold and Kumar Go to White Castle_, encouraged UIC students to attend the midterm elections this Nov. 2 at the 3rd floor of Student Center East.
With his arrival being delayed, Penn joked, “We got in some traffic, you know, we got pulled over by cops.”
The actor, comedian and former White House Associate Director, reminded the assembly how important the youth vote was in 2008. He expressed to students the importance of the 2010 Midterm Elections and the implications it would have on President Obama’s legislative success.
Hoping for a Democrat, legislative majority, President Obama and his advocates would have the policy-making power to pass long overdue reforms on issues of health care and the shrinking job market. With a lack of cooperation, a Republican grip on Congress would hinder Obama’s administration for the next several years.
Openly supporting Democratic Senator candidate Alexi Giannoulias, Penn spoke on how he got involved with the Obama campaign in 2007, “The reason I did it was very simple. I was perfectly fine living in California and fortunate enough to work as an actor. But I also had friends who were in the military and fighting in Iraq. And I had friends who couldn’t afford college.”
Penn continued to discuss a story about his friend who had to make the tough decision of paying for an eye exam or for class textbooks. Due to lack of financial aid and health insurance, the prospect student couldn’t afford both.
“I thought that’s ridiculous in the world’s richest, most powerful country that a friend of ours has these two decisions to make…it didn’t seem right,” Penn comments.
Striking a serious tone, he recalled the 2008 election once more and advocated youth involvement as essential means to improving educational and student legislative issues.
“68% of young voters in 2008 voted for the president. Because you got involved, knocked on doors, made phone calls and volunteered there were a some key things the President were able to pass, that disproportionately affects young people for the better.”
Some of the mentioned legislative contributions by the Obama administration included improved coverage of health care for youths, groundbreaking financial aid reform for students and the withdrawal of several troops from Iraq.
“All those things happened because young people voted, that the margins of those votes really showed the rest of the world that we actually cared enough. And those were the fruits of our labor.”
The tone of Penn returned to its comical normalcy when he requested that everyone in attendance not only go to the polls, but to text some friends to go to with you.
“I’m going to do this right now too. It’s going to be boring to watch if you don’t do it with me.”
As Penn whipped out his phone, “Let’s see here I’ll text my brother, my mom, dad and John Cho, why not.”
Regardless of Kal Penn’s aid to the Democratic Party, he is a registered Independent. He advocated support for the President and support for his ongoing reforms in hopes to move the country forward. But many critics question the pace of this progress…
“Despite all of our successes, we probably have friends and relatives like I do. Maybe an old uncle who says ‘I don’t know. Change isn’t happening fast enough.’ To which I reply, ‘Uncle put down your scotch, change doesn’t happen overnight.’ But it won’t happen at all without these sustained efforts that we saw two years ago. And there’s a lot more that still needs to be done.”
Excerpt: Adorned with an ‘Alexi 2010’ shirt, Kal Penn, better known as ‘Kumar’ from Harold and Kumar Go to White Castle, encouraged UIC students to attend the midterm elections this Nov. 2 at the 3rd floor of Student Center East.
Post date: 2010-11-01 06:50:51
Post date GMT: 2010-11-01 11:50:51
Post modified date: 2010-11-22 22:26:42
Post modified date GMT: 2010-11-23 03:26:42
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