Tag Archive for: elections

Two Young Southerners Speak Up on Guns

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How do our youngest voters feel about America’s gun policy?

Our guests on today’s show are part of the school shooting generation. Each grew up with active shooter drills and worries that their school could be next, concepts that were unthinkable when most of today’s politicians were in the classroom.

Ahead of Common Ground Committee’s live event on September 27th, Finding Common Ground on Guns we hear from Sophie Holtzman and Jackson Hoppe, sophomores at The George Washington University. They are also joint vice presidents of their college’s chapter of BridgeUSA, an organization that creates spaces for students to have open discussion on political issues.

In this episode, Sophie, a liberal, and Jackson, a conservative, share stories of being raised in the South, their experiences with guns, and how listening to others’ opinions on the topic – even when they disagree – is a vital first step to finding common ground.

Join us on Let’s Find Common Ground.

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Ep. 66 – Two Young Southerners Speak Up on Guns

Sophie Holtzman

Sophie Holtzman is a sophomore at the George Washington University and the Co-Vice President of GWU’s BridgeUSA chapter. Originally from Villa Hills, Kentucky, she has worked extensively with the Kentucky Democratic Party and Kentucky’s Youth and Government programs. While she has previously worked in grassroots organizing for Senate, Congressional, and gubernatorial campaigns and in outreach for Kentucky’s public libraries, she now works as a student-teacher for GW’s Elliott School of International Affairs.

With her International Affairs major and Journalism minor, she hopes to pursue a Master’s degree in Global Communication and work in climate messaging or climate policy. Outside of academics, she volunteers with GW’s Honey W. Nashman Center for Civic Engagement, is an active member of her sorority, and spends her free time running and reading.

Jackson Hoppe

Jackson Hoppe is a sophomore at the George Washington University and is pursuing a degree in Public Policy and Marketing. Along with Sophie Holtzman, he is the Co-Vice President of GWU’s BridgeUSA chapter. Jackson grew up in Brentwood, Tennessee, where he has worked both on the campaign and federal levels for Republicans in the Volunteer State, including positions in both the House and Senate. Additionally, he has participated in numerous civic engagement programs, like Model United Nations and Youth in Government, rising to some of the highest officer positions in both programs and being given the opportunity to lobby for federal civics education legislation.

Jackson also serves as the Director of Public Relations for GW College Republicans, where he has engaged with national media sources and is the mouthpiece of the largest conservative organization on campus. He is also an engaged member of his fraternity. He is glad to be a VP for BridgeGW and is a proud Tennessean.

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Primaries and Polarization: Is The System Broken?

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With low voter turnout and a wide partisan divide, are there better ways to pick candidates?

The primary election season in this midterm election year is now over in most states. Turnout was often very low—less than 20% of registered voters showed up in many places—while the partisan divide was as wide as ever.

In this episode, we hear from leading political strategists, scholars, authors and journalists about the American system for choosing candidates who will face each other in November’s election. We consider issues with the closed party primaries, and whether there are better ways to pick candidates for public office.

We look at proposed solutions such as ranked-choice voting and open primaries, where independent voters and those who are neither registered Republicans nor Democrats can participate.

Guests include Former Democratic Party Chair Donna Brazile, ex-Congressmen Will Hurd and Barney Frank, Domestic Policy Council Director Susan Rice, constitutional law scholar Rick Pildes, and journalists Salena Zito, Christa Case Bryant and Story Hinckley.

Join us on Let’s Find Common Ground.

Read the Episode Transcript

Ep 65 – Primaries and Polarization: Is The System Broken?

Want to hear more? Check out our podcast page to see all the discussions!