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Students target gun reform with voter registration push

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By Sal Christ

Last month, hundreds of Jeffco students walked out of their classrooms in hopes of sending a message to lawmakers about gun violence in schools. Ten days later, they joined millions across the country in “March for Our Lives” demonstrations on March 24 that, again, were aimed at sending a message to politicians. Now the kids are sending another message to legislators: Do something about gun reform or we’ll vote you out of office.
Formally announced Monday, the “Vote for Our Lives” campaign is aimed at engaging youth in the voting process and ultimately changing current gun laws.
“We’re trying to inspire our youth to get registered to vote and to educate themselves on local politics, national politics, and to hopefully vote out the people that don’t have the public’s safety as their objective — those (for whom) taking money from certain organizations is more important than the people and their safety in schools,” said Madison Rose, director of public relations for Vote for Our Lives.
Rose, as well as Emmy Adams — a Golden High School senior who serves as director of national outreach for Vote for Our Lives — said U.S. Sen. Cory Gardner, R-Colo., and U.S. Rep. Mike Coffman, who represents Colorado’s 6th Congressional District, are just two legislators they’d like to see voted out of office later this year.
Both lawmakers have largely voted against measures to restrict access to guns and both have accepted campaign donations from the National Rifle Association.
Organized by Adams, Chatfield High School sophomore Sam Craig and several other Jeffco students who were involved in last month’s “Never Again” rally, the national campaign will feature voter registration events in 30 cities across the country over the next six months.
The first Vote for Our Lives event will take place next Thursday at Clement Park in Littleton. While details are still being finalized, Craig said several local politicians, survivors of the 1999 shooting at Columbine High School and others will speak at the event. A vigil honoring those who lost their lives in the Columbine shooting will follow the event.
For more information, visit www.facebook.com/events/617004708638409/ or www.vote4ourlives2018.com/.