Residents of Churchill spoke to journalism students about the upcoming presidential and local elections and their political views on ballot initiatives.
By Nicole Daniel
University of Oregon Journalism student
EUGENE – Residents of the Churchill neighborhood spoke to journalism students from the University of Oregon Friday afternoon about their political views on the upcoming presidential and local elections.
As the November 6th 2012 elections approach, citizens of the Churchill neighborhood are making decisions on who, and what, to vote for. Local residents Lucas Mericantante, Sherie Torralba, DeAnna Harrell and Kyle Giffin expressed their differing political views on the presidential candidates and specific ballot measures.
In the parking lot of the Churchill Market, Mericantante, “a republican that believes in healthcare and education,” stopped to answer questions on his political views. Revealing that he has a son who attends the Churchill High School, Mericantante said he is passionate about any measure that will directly affect the schools, as well as the community. In regards to Measures 82 and 83, which will permit the establishment of privately owned casinos in Lane County, Mericantante said he is in favor of the casinos, however, he believes the Native Americans should pay taxes. In addition, Mericantante said, “Anything that creates American jobs I’m all for.” Changing the subject from local elections to the presidential election, Mericantante stated that he plans to vote for Mitt Romney. As the interview came to an end, Mericantante concluded by saying, “I have no right wing beliefs, no left wing beliefs. I just believe in America.”
Meanwhile, stopped outside the local Dollar Tree store on her way to a wedding, Torralba expressed that she is a “Democrat for everything.” She plans to vote against the casino measures, as well as Measure 80, which allows personal marijuana use without a license. Torralba stated that she watched every presidential debate and has been following the campaign on KVAL, the local news channel. When asked about any biases in the news, Torralba said she feels the coverage of the campaign has been fair. After voting for President Obama in 2008, Torralba said she plans to vote for him again because she “always votes democrat.”
In addition, at the top of the hill at New Hope Christian College, DeAnna Harrell, a nanny who has helped raise 16 children in Eugene, agreed to speak about the elections. With a young boy in the backseat of her car, Harrell expressed her strong opinion for higher education and school funding. Because of this, Harrell said she plans to vote for Obama and “every democrat on the slate.” She also believes that, “If we don’t start taking care of our kids and our old people, we are not going to make it as a species.”
Finally, 19-year-old New Hope Christian College student, Kyle Giffin, shared a completely different viewpoint from the previous interviewees. Giffin told interviewers that he hasn’t been following the campaign and doesn’t plan on voting for either presidential candidate. He would, however, like to vote for state measures but needs to do more research on the topics. When questioned about issues that are most important to him, Giffin replied, “The recession, as a college student that’s what will affect me the most. I feel that a plan should be put in place not just for me but for everyone. Just take care of the country.”
With differing political views on the measures and presidential candidates, the Churchill neighborhood will voice their opinions come Election Day on November 6th.