A Primer in American Politics

Author: Joya Helmuth


It's been a tumultuous and fascinating election year so far in 2016. In an effort to sidestep the headlines and dig into American political parties and how things work here, we were honored to have four local politicians visit Notre Dame and present Republican and Democratic platforms to our Fellows:

Diana Hess, St. Joseph County Council Member (Democrat)
Andrew Kostielney, St. Joseph County Commission President (Republican)
Charlotte Pfeifer, retired South Bend City Council Member (Democrat) and Indiana University South Bend Professor
Kate Voelker, Mishawaka City Council Member (Republican)

There was lively discussion, many questions, and interesting dialogue and we are grateful to our local officials for taking the time to help us understand not only the platforms, but also why local politics is so important.

Thursday evening we regrouped and the Fellows debated their chosen party platforms; the tally was 10 Republicans and 13 Democrats (2 abstained). We have several Fellows running for president; they are already busy campaigning among the delegates for the nomination at the mock Democratic convention we'll hold on July 5. Stay tuned for campaign progress updates!