Judy Chu talks politics with CHS’s Young Dems

United States Representative Judy Chu of California’s 28th Congressional District at Claremont High Monday speaking to students. Courier photo/Andrew Alonzo

by Andrew Alonzo | aalonzo@claremont-courier.com

United States Representative Judy Chu made an appearance at Claremont High School Monday to speak to a crowd of about 50 students.

Chu spoke at the request of the school’s Young Democrats Club about the Women’s Health Protection Act of 2023, proposed legislation safeguarding abortion rights, the need for gun law reform, and several other topics. She also answered students’ questions about current politics, her legislative goals, and how to get involved.

Chu told the Courier clubs like CHS’s can help galvanize young people.

“It’s so important to have organizations like this because they teach the young people to get involved,” she said. “They have speakers that can let them know what’s really going on. They are a source of support to each other, so I just think that clubs like this, both the young Dems as well as the [Democratic Club of Claremont] are so critical for our success in the future.” Young people “are the most activated, the most interested, the most motivated to go out there and help win this [2024] election. I just hope that they’ll be a domino effect because we need a greater turnout of the young people in order to be successful.”

Chu said young people tell her gun violence is the issue they are most passionate about. Recent events such as teenagers getting shot for entering the wrong car in Austin last month and a Black youth shot for knocking on the wrong door in Kansas City have fueled cries for stronger gun laws, she said.

The Young Democrats Club freshman president Matthew Glovsky introduced the congresswoman at Monday’s event. He said it’s his and the club’s goal to express and embrace democratic ideas and new schools of thought.


Claremont High freshman and CHS Young Democrats Club president Matthew Glovsky, blue, shares a smile with United States Representative Judy Chu on Monday at CHS after Chu addressed students, faculty, and Claremont Unified School District Board of Education members. Courier photo/Andrew Alonzo


“With our democracy, 2020 and 2021 were kind of tough years, so I thought it was really important to spread ideas and get Democratic ideas out there,” Matthew said. “Young voters, they’re what make or break our society.”

The club’s vice president is senior Reese Buckway. Its advisor is advanced placement government teacher Beth Bodnar.

The pandemic forced the club to switch to an online model and attendance took a dip. As an eighth grader last year Matthew emailed Bodnar looking to restart the club’s in-person meetings. Things got going in fall 2022 and the club now numbers more than 30.

Bodnar said Matthew came in with an ambitious idea of inviting nationally recognized names such as President Joe Biden, U.S. Reps. Chu and Norma Torres, and others to speak to CHS students.

Matthew said Chu coming to town is not only significant, but also checks off one name from a long list.


Judy Chu, the United States Representative for California’s 28th Congressional District, closes her remarks Monday at Claremont High School. Courier photo/Andrew Alonzo


“Just to have someone that’s elected, who like grew up [in Southern California] and actually works in D.C. to help our rights and help us live our everyday lives, it just means everything to me,” he said.

The club is sponsored in part by the Democratic Club of Claremont. Carolee Monroe is its liaison.

The CHS club is run by six student officers. Past topics have covered California’s criminal justice system and the United Nations’ sustainability goals.

Matthew hopes to expand the club and its reach over his high school career. Bodnar also said it’s possible the club may one day endorse Democratic candidates in local, state, or national races.

For more information, email Bodnar at bbodnar@cusd.claremont.edu.


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