Millersville University students show their support for Shapiro. BREONNA DULL/ THE SNAPPER
Current attorney general and Democratic nominee for Pennsylvania governor, Josh Shapiro, visited Lancaster city on Friday, Nov. 4 at 9:30 a.m. in Ewell Plaza to rally supporters.
The radio played before officials arrived as supporters enjoyed hot coffee, tea, signs, posters, pins, and like-minded company. The crowd brought high energy and cheers as the tour bus stopped and elected officials stepped off to greet us.
Alongside Shapiro were Austin Davis, running for lieutenant governor, State Representative Mike Sturla, city council member Izzy Smith-Wade-El, Mayor of Lancaster Danene Sorace, and the candidate for the 11th congressional district Bob Hollister. Each official spoke of appreciation and support for the crowd, their opportunities, and Shapiro as a promising candidate.
“We’ve made a lot of progress and in some cases we’ve taken some steps back, but now we have an opportunity to make real progress,” Austin Davis expressed the urgency of voting on Nov. 8th before Shapiro spoke.
“This election is the most important election of our lifetime. Everything is on the line. Josh and I are running against the most extreme and dangerous Republican ticket in the country,” said Davis.
Members of Students for Shapiro pose for a group photo.
Millersville University’s group, Students for Shapiro, stood front and center in the crowd. Members told me why they wanted to be involved in politics and Shapiro’s race.
“I’ve lived in PA for 21 years and when I heard Mastriano was running, I thought, I can’t let that happen. If he’s elected, I won’t feel safe. Josh is a great candidate that represents me,” said Ruby Mundok, chapter lead of Students for Shapiro.
It’s important that our governor represents the people and creates a safe place for all citizens. Mastriano has made remarks outwardly discriminating against the LGBTQ+ community. The community fears they will lose freedoms and rights unless protected by the law. Shapiro has been strong in his stance on defending abortion rights for the state.
“I know what Shapiro stands for, all of Pennsylvania, not just some he cares about everyone and important freedoms. I’m part of the LGBT community so that’s important and equal rights, healthcare, and women’s right to choose,” said student Kevin Lynch.
Some students are not as passionate about Josh Shapiro, but support him in opposition to Mastriano.
Student Owen Russell says, “I’ve always been into politics, I’m a big Democrat. I’m not really a big Josh fan, but Mastriano is terrible. He’s the worst candidate they could’ve chosen. So, Shapiro!”
Student engagement and tension in politics have seemed to increase since the overturning of Roe V. Wade. Abortion has always been a controversial topic, but the legality of abortion in Pennsylvania is now determined by the next governor. In his speech, Shapiro also discusses his goals to invest in the future for the younger generation through public schools, environmental protection, and safety. He aims to invest in our police, hire more officers, and ensure they have the proper training. Shapiro says his opponent does not represent all people and that he will discriminate against people who don’t marry, worship, or look the same as him.
“My name might be on the ballot, but your rights are on the line,” says Shapiro.
Shapiro emphasizes the importance of using your voice and encourages everyone to do so. He says one reason he ran for governor is his family and the other is his faith.
“My scripture teaches me that no one is required to complete the task but neither are we refrained from it. Meaning each of us has a responsibility to get off the sidelines, to get in the game, and do our part.”
Many Americans may take democracy for granted, but I see students and my generation more and more involved. We the people have the power to make a change if we demand it.
“It’s our futures on the line as the young people of Pennsylvania,” says Mundock “and we have to stand up to fight for what we want. Personally, if there’s something I can do to elect people who will truly represent me and my morals and values, then I’m going to fight my hardest to elect them.”
Whoever you vote for, it’s important to do your civic duty and be actively involved in policy. If you didn’t vote in this election, don’t worry! There’s always more to do. Get involved with your local government, whether that be through school, petitions, protests, or contacting your representatives.