Peralta Community College District's Only Student-Run Publication
Peralta Community College District's only student-run publication.

The Citizen

Peralta Community College District's only student-run publication.

The Citizen

Peralta Community College District's only student-run publication.

The Citizen

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Word at the polls

Here’s how East Bay voters were feeling on Election Day

Make a plan to vote! Bicyclist rides by Berkeley, Calif., polling place on November 3, 2020. (Christy Price/ The Citizen)

By the Citizen staff

On Tuesday, November 3, 2020, amid a global pandemic, voters descended upon poll stations nationwide to cast their ballots. On the ballot were presidential candidates, congress seats, measures and local races, including four seats on the Peralta Board of Trustees. The Citizen put together a team of student journalists and sent them on a mission to find out what is most important to voters and gauge the overall mood of this election cycle in the East Bay. Our journalists explored polls in Berkeley/Albany, Oakland and Alameda.

Voter Judith Scott at Alameda High School (Menel Raach/The Citizen)

“We are moving to an authoritarian government with Donald Trump in office, and I don’t think I can bear another moment with him in office.”

Voter Gel Quinto at Alameda High School (Menel Raach/The Citizen)

I voted for Bill (Withrow)… I go to College of Alameda. And I think that it’s good, I think that it works for me.”

Voter Flor DelleCese at South Shore Center in Alameda (Menel Raach/The Citizen)

Regarding the Peralta Board of Trustees vote: “Oh, my God, I can’t remember. Oh, Bill Withrow. Because he’s so familiar.”

Voter Henry Stohner at South Shore Center in Alameda (Menel Raach/The Citizen)

On what matters most: “All the things that’s happening with the Black Lives Matter and all this stuff. What lies ahead in the four years, what’s going to happen? Considering if we have a change of president or whether it’s going to happen or not. So I think that’s really more than the base of it.”

Voter and Peralta student Yazmine Stohner at South Shore Center in Alameda (Menel Raach/The Citizen)

Regarding the Area 1 Peralta Board of Trustees vote: “Yes. I don’t remember. I think I decided to have it remain the same. I wasn’t too informed.”

Voter Bart Giddings at South Shore Center in Alameda (Menel Raach/The Citizen)

On what matters most:Environmental issues, the equality of wealth and taxation issues, and care for underserved populations.”

Voter and former Peralta student Caroyl Shepard at South Shore Center in Alameda (Christy Price/The Citizen)

On what matters most: “City and state, the propositions and the measures that deal with “we the people” because we need some help. I know we need it from the leaders. But this internal stuff. We’re a great nation, but we’ve got a lot of internal issues.”

Voter Anthony Dipasqua at South Shore Center in Alameda (Christy Price/The Citizen)

On what matters most:The independent contractor, [Proposition] 22 I believe. I’m in project managing, for live events. And I was, up until two years ago, a private contractor myself…construction and artistic construction, scenic construction, for conferences, you know, anything for like large corporate events, and hotels and stuff like that. And that doesn’t exist till this COVID thing’s over. So I have to be an independent contractor again, and there [sic] seems like it’s going to be made more difficult for me.”

Voter Curtis Stovall Jr. in Downtown Oakland (Ryan Barba/The Citizen)

“I’m the silent majority, I decided to take a stand, it’s getting worse and worse…I’m 77 years old, I look at things like if we as people, not the color of your skin, stand together as a unit, we can change things.”

Voter AJ Chan in Albany (Ryan Barba/The Citizen)

“President Trump is for law and order. He’s for refunding the police, not defunding. He’s giving jobs to Americans that we never had and refunding middle America. I was a hardcore Democrat until I realized they ain’t doing [anything] for us.”

Voter Prophet Sarhim on University Avenue, Berkeley (Luke Wrin Piper/The Citizen)

“When [felons] are incarcerated they pay their debt to society, when they come out they’re a taxpayer, so they should have the right to vote…Money over people is a big problem, and I don’t know what’s going to solve that. I think marching and protesting is good, but now what I think we need to do is protest with our dollars.”

Voter Kat S on University Avenue, Berkeley (William Ink/The Citizen)

“[I’m excited] to have a chance for my daughter to go with me to vote because she was able to see the process and understand what it’s like.”

Voter Marianna Nobre on University Avenue, Berkeley (Christy Price/The Citizen)

“2020 was challenging in a lot of ways, from not being able to see our loved ones to social injustices to unemployment to the fires in California and so many people being let go and everything with politics is so frustrating. But today is a day of hope, I’m excited.”

Voter Lee Pinkney on University Avenue, Berkeley (Christy Price/The Citizen)

“This is the first time I’ve ever voted. You know what made me vote this time.”

Voter and poll worker James Dean Nelson on University Avenue, Berkeley (Christy Price/The Citizen)

“I’ve [worked at the polls] several times. It’s about the fourth time I’ve done it in the last 30 years…it’s all different because of the pandemic stuff. They changed everything.”

Voter Rossiaun Bowser at Oakland Technical High School (Christy Price/The Citizen)

“[I’m excited] to see all the changes that might happen from my voting. Definitely better funding for the schools because when I went to high school there were definitely a lot of problems.”

Voter Honora Mitchell at Oakland Technical High School (Christy Price/The Citizen)

“I’ve learned to not really trust my instincts too much because it was such a shocker four years ago. I wrote 440 postcards to voters across the country and I feel like I did my part to encourage people to vote. And that’s the most important aspect of the election.”

Voters Tanya and Dixie Ward at Oakland Technical High School (Christy Price/The Citizen)

“I’d like to see that our kids get a better education. We need to move forward. The time is not for old politics, the time is for new politics. People have to be more global…I think that first of all, we have to get a change of attitudes and priorities. And at the present, we don’t have that. And we need to expand our thinking and, like I said, our priorities have to change.”

Superior Court of Alameda County Judge Candidate Mark Fickes at Oakland Technical High School (Christy Price/The Citizen)

“[Running for office] is a great process. Most people don’t pay attention to learning about candidates and issues. And I think that part’s super cool, just getting to talk to people about what you do and why you do it, and why you think it matters.”

Voter Austin Dannhaus at Oakland Technical High School (Christy Price/The Citizen)

“I’m excited to see us, the whole country kind of come together and hopefully get Trump out of office. I’m cautiously optimistic that’s something that we can do.”

Voter Sam Davis at Oakland Technical High School (Christy Price/The Citizen)

“I’m most excited about the grassroots support. I mean, this has really been teachers, families, school site staff coming together, really trying to advocate for a different way of doing things to benefit the students of Oakland.”

Voter Lars Taylor at Montera Middle School in Oakland (Christy Price/The Citizen)

“Seeing Millennials and Gen Z step up is pretty incredible. As somebody who’s seen the last few elections as a poll worker, I’m seeing a lot more turnout, and I’m seeing a lot more enthusiasm among young people.”

Voter Kevin Dobson at Montera Middle School in Oakland (Christy Price/The Citizen)

“The most glaring [area of change] is mental health issues. They really need somebody that they can reach out to or get assistance from, for sure. And that can be a lifetime commitment sometimes.”

Voter Drew Foster at Montera Middle School (Christy Price/The Citizen)

“I think this two party system has failed us horribly. It’s one thing to have them on the ballot, but it’s a whole other thing not to allow them into debates. That’s un-American. And that doesn’t represent everybody. And that’s wrong. We’ve been forced into the lesser of two evils.”

Voter Joey “Cello Joe” Chang at Montera Middle School in Oakland (Christy Price/The Citizen)

“I’m excited for us to have a new president.”

~~~

Christy Price, Luke Wrin Piper, William Ink, Menel Raach, Ryan Barba, Hersh Singh and Veronica Steiner contributed reporting. 

About the Contributors
Christy Price
Christy Price, Photo Editor
Christy Price is a Photographer and Activist who was born in the Central Valley of California, raised in New York and Texas. After giving birth to her first daughter at the age of 17 in Ft. Worth, TX she moved back to California where she attended Fresno City College and wrote for the school’s newspaper, The Rampage. She married at the age of 24 and had her second daughter a couple years later. After a 14-year career as a secretary at the Internal Revenue Service, Christy switched gears and began working in the growing Cannabis industry. In her down time, she traveled cross country to document the 2016 Democratic National Convention and later that year went to Standing Rock. Her thinking about the dynamics of the way this world works changed with her experiences at Standing Rock and she vowed to do what she could to be the change she wanted to see. Christy returned to school in Spring of 2019. She decided to major in something she already enjoyed and settled on Photography. Wanting to make an impact with her photographs she decided to try her hand at Photojournalism. During that class she covered the Indigenous People’s Sunrise Ceremony on Alcatraz. The coverage was published in the Panther Times. Being published sparked a fire inside of her that helped guide her to her new position as Photo Editor of The Citizen.
Luke Wrin Piper
Luke Wrin Piper, Consulting Editor
Luke Wrin Piper began writing for The Citizen in 2019. Starting at the sports desk, his focus has expanded into politics, art, activism, crime and all the ways they intersect here in the 510. The people and culture of the East Bay have never failed to fascinate him and he hopes to bottle that local lightning for The Citizen. He thinks there’s never been a better time to be alive, especially for journalists.
William Ink
William Ink, Staff Writer
Born and raised in Oakland, William returned to the Peralta school district in 2017, after a 25-year hiatus, to advance his education recently receiving his AS-T in Film, Television and Broadcasting and an AA-T in Communication. He has enrolled in and been accepted to San Francisco State as a dual major in the Broadcast and Electronic Communication Art (BECA) and Communication Studies. After nearly 50 years working in the restaurant and catering business, residential construction and In-Home Care, William now pursues a long dreamed of career in the Arts, as a writer, producer and editor of media content in both fictional and non-fictional realms. Mr. Ink loves people and their stories, believing we are all capable of serving our communities well and elevating our standard of living.
Menel Raach
Menel Raach, Menel Raach
Transitioning from your birth country to a foreign land can be a journey of its own and at times challenging. Menel Raach, was born and raised in Tunisia, a poor country ruled under dictatorship. During her last year in high school, the revolutionary war began in Tunisia, talking about human rights or politics had been forbidden, and the economic system wasn’t strong at the time. Despite living in such difficult situations, Raach considered herself fortunate and privileged to have lived in a good neighborhood and obtain an education. Her beliefs and values are simple, yet passionate as she states, “I don’t like injustice. I don’t care about politics, but I care about justice”. Raach had decided to pursue her career in journalism, thanks to her curiosity and being socially active, then later she pursued her true interest by earning her master’s in film making. With all her achievements in Tunisia, Menel was living her best life, yet knew she had more to pursue, deciding to leave Tunisia and come to California in order to strengthen her English and obtain a further education.
Ryan Barba
Ryan Barba, Editor in Chief
Ryan B. is an Oakland native who is following his passion of writing. It has led to his desire to expand his knowledge and insight in this profession by learning and sharing with others. Ryan attended primary and secondary schools in Oakland and has ties to various community outreach programs throughout the East Bay. Having spent his life in Oakland, he enjoys telling feature stories that are occurring in his community.
Veronica Steiner
Veronica Steiner, News Editor
Born in Connecticut, Veronica moved to the Bay Area with her family for new opportunities. After moving to San Francisco in 2011, Veronica and her family opened a bar and restaurant in the Richmond District of San Francisco. After having her first child, she was eager to finish her education and pursue her dream of writing — so she joined The Citizen. Having deep roots in community service as she founded a women’s group building sisterhood through service, a big sister through Big Brothers Big Sisters and an Americorps Alumni, Veronica believes journalism is the perfect bridge of career and passion, combining a life of service and substance.
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