Local politicians visit DBHS campus


Senator Josh Newman and Councilmember Andrew Chou speak to FBLA and HOSA students about their experiences in office.

In hopes of getting its members more involved in their local government, Diamond Bar High School clubs Future Business Leaders of America and Health Occupations Students of America invited Senator Josh Newman and Diamond Bar councilman Andrew Chou to a community forum. The forum is a part of the FBLA chapter project. These projects cover an array of topics, including financial literacy and staying in shape, as well as holding events like these. The event was held on Oct. 29 and lasted for about one hour. Much of the discussion pertained to the relationship between businesses and the government. Tailored towards developing high school students’ interest in pursuing a career in business, FBLA helps to prepare its members by having them participate in competitions, conferences and workshops. Competitions can range from cell phone app designs to political science topics. “Even though we’re called a business club, we’re not solely business focused. I think it’s more appropriate to think of FBLA as a club that examines a variety of career fields, albeit through a business lens,” vice president of projects senior Mingyu Liu said via Messenger. The organization is also making further progress in trying to integrate non-competitive members through social events, including the community forum with Senator Newman. “We benefit from this meeting because by making our members more civically engaged. DBHS’ FBLA can help ensure that we spread the principles of good citizenship,” Liu said. To provide better insight on such topics, the clubs invited Newman and Chou who expanded on their policies. They also discussed laws they have passed, their future plans and the importance of civic engagement. “We chose to invite Chou because we’ve collaborated with him before and we find interacting with people that represent us very insightful,” FBLA co-president senior Vanessa Chen said via Instagram. “We managed to get the Senator because his agenda aligned with ours [FBLA and HOSA] and one of our officers also had connections to him.”  A major issue that was brought up during the meeting included getting younger generations to the voting polls. Students may recall FBLA members visiting classrooms in order to advertise the idea of registering to vote early “By giving members the opportunity to meet an elected official early, and be heard by them, we can combat the trend of the 60 percent of Americans feeling unheard by their representatives and leave our members with a more positive outlook on our democratic system,” Liu said. Currently, youth turnout for elections hovers around 50 percent, while civic engagement rates are even lower. In order to raise these numbers and promote citizen participation, the forum helped to persuade its audience to participate in their local and federal government “It can feel minimal, your vote in a Senate election, you’re one in 400,000 people. But it’s part of a collective process that’s important and really necessary,” Senator Josh Newman said.