CSUN student Mark Gonzalez is passionate about making a difference.
Dedicated to his party, Gonzalez, 22, is a member of more than nine Democratic party state and county committees.
“We need a massive youth movement,” insisted Gonzalez, a junior journalism major.
He said that America’s youth are not being accurately represented, and that this generation needs to get involved.
Gonzalez is a firm believer that most students are apathetic toward political issues. They just do not have the time or the money to get involved, he said. But for Gonzalez, it all comes down to the fact that most people his age are just not passionate enough about current events.
At the local level, Gonzalez said he is most concerned about education and health care. He knows it is asking a lot, but he said the money that has gone toward the war could have gone toward education.
“Fees are increasing – but we still have problems getting classes. We are not getting what we are paying for,” Gonzalez said.
Gonzalez knew he was interested in making a change in high school, after he was elected Associated Student Body President and class president.
He was the middleman between the students and the faculty. It was important for him to build trust with the faculty, and to clearly convey the concerns of the students to them.
“Because of the built trust, the faculty was able to take me seriously,” Gonzalez said.
Once involved in politics as an adolescent, a congressman spoke at his school, and encouraged students to join his campaign. Gonzalez said he felt compelled to lead others by example, and he volunteered.
In 2004, Bush was re-elected, Gonzalez did his part to support Democratic candidates. He volunteered for the Kerry-Edwards campaign and worked at a local office near his home.
Gonzalez continues to play the part of middleman in his community. Voicing common neighborhood concerns, he relays them to his community’s city councilman.
He is also involved as a member of multiple committees. Most notable: the Democratic State Central Committee, and the Los Angeles Democratic County Central Committee where he serves as delegation secretary. Along with serving as treasurer of the Northeast Democratic Club of Los Angeles, he also volunteers as the corresponding secretary of the Democratic Club in Pasadena, where he’s also a member of the Arroyo Democratic Club.
Gonzalez recently joined the Native American and Latino Caucuses.
As a delegate of the Democratic State Central Committee, he was able to attend the state’s San Diego convention last month.
There he attended a tribute dinner honoring House Democratic Leader Nancy Pelosi – even meeting and posing for a photograph with her.
He said meeting the first women to lead a major party in the U.S. Congress was an honor all by itself.
Pelosi was an inspiration to Gonzalez because she worked immensely hard to get where she is today.
Gonzalez has also volunteered for other politicians, including Los Angeles Mayor Antonio Villaraigosa.
Behind the scenes, supporting those whom he believes in is just where Gonzalez said he wants to be.
“I don’t think I will ever run for office,” he said.
Gonzalez cited the stress of working as a politician as reason enough to deter him from seeking out a career in front of the political spotlight.
After graduation he sees himself working as a field deputy. He has already received full- time offers, but will not consider them until after his graduation.
Gonzalez realizes that politics are not for everyone, but he encourages students to still inspire change.
“Most people say that they don’t vote because they don’t know the issues, but there is always information available to educate yourself with.”