Students and faculty react to Biden’s first week in office Thursday, Jan 28 2021 

By Riley Vance–

After less than one full week in office, the newly inaugurated President Joe Biden has made numerous changes, including 33 executive actions.  

When asked about Biden’s swift actions during his short time in office, students and instructors on the University of Louisville’s campus had differing opinions. 

U of L College Republicans Chairman Isaac Oettle voiced some concern about the policies Biden has enacted. 

“I was encouraged by President Biden’s call for unity in his inaugural address at noon,” said Oettle recalling Biden’s inauguration. “Although the words began to ring hollow by 3 p.m. when he cancelled production of the Keystone XL pipeline and the media reported that he intends to send an immigration bill to Congress that would provide blanket amnesty to illegal immigrants without even an offer for increased border security in exchange. President Biden’s administration also placed a moratorium on new oil and gas drilling, breaking his campaign pledge to not ban fracking.”

Among Biden’s executive actions are those that relate to the topic of the COVID-19 pandemic, such as increased manufacturing and quicker delivery of COVID-19 vaccinations, tests, and Personal Protective Equipment as well as a mask mandate on federal property. 

Biden has also made strides to mend environmental issues by rejoining the Paris Climate Agreement and revoking the permit for the Keystone XL pipeline.

Although the economy is typically not the main priority of many Democrats, after only a few days in office Biden has posted on Instagram claiming to extend a moratorium on evictions and student loan relief.

U of L Young Democrats Treasurer Julia Mattingly supports Biden, but she also expresses her concern about his use of executive orders.

“As much as I support the vast majority of President Biden’s executive orders, such as re-committing the U.S. to the World Health Organization, rejoining the Paris climate accord, and reversing the Muslim travel ban, I also believe it is wrong for him to legislate simply by pen and paper,” said Mattingly.

“If he plans to hold true to the promises he made on the campaign trail and genuinely unite this country, he must work with both Democrats and Republicans in Congress to ensure his legislative priorities. It is important that we as Democrats hold President Biden accountable in the same way we did the former President Trump, and discourage President Biden from being overly reliant on executive action.”

Biden has also made it clear that he cares about fixing racial and gender inequalities in America. 

Since he has taken office, Biden has repealed the transgender military ban allowing transgender men and women to serve in the U.S. military. He has also reversed former President Trump’s policy that did not allow transgender athletes to participate in sports as their identified gender. Biden appointed Rachel Levine to be his assistant secretary of health—the first openly transgender federal official. 

Additionally, he has launched a federal initiative to advance racial equity nationwide by reallocating resources. 

U of L Political Communications professor Bill Brantley thinks Biden’s transition will come with many obstacles. 

“President Biden needs to reframe the policy debates with the new unity perspective,” said Brantley. 

“President Trump framed his policies in an “us versus them” perspective because he didn’t see the need to reach out to the Congressional Democrats. Establishing a new framing perspective is always difficult against an entrenched narrative frame.” 

There is no denying that President Biden is ready to start taking action on promises he made during his campaign, however, it seems that most believe his largest obstacle is uniting the country after a messy election. 

File Graphic // The Louisville Cardinal

The post Students and faculty react to Biden’s first week in office appeared first on The Louisville Cardinal.

KY Senate Race 2020: Kentucky needs a change. Tuesday, Oct 20 2020 

By Catherine Brown-

Senator Mitch McConnell does not deserve a place in office anymore. It’s up to us to vote for Democrat Amy McGrath for Senate.

On Sept. 30, McGrath spoke to University of Louisville students at the Red Barn on the Belknap Campus. In her speech, she discussed the corruption of individuals in the government such as Sen. McConnell and President Donald Trump.

McGrath spoke to students about matters like registering to vote, racial injustice and preserving democracy.

“Kentucky has never made it easier to vote than this year,” McGrath said. “Your vote matters just as much as Mitch McConnell’s or Donald Trump’s or anybody else’s. They only get one vote, too.” 

McConnell has been in the U.S. Senate for 36 years. If he wins on Election Day, it could become 42. 

Over his 36 years in office, McConnell has left over 250 bills sitting on his desk, unread. This includes bills on gun control reform, health care and shielding survivors of domestic abuse.

U of L Young Democrats Treasurer Julia Mattingly plans to vote for Amy McGrath on Election Day.

“It’s about time we get Mitch McConnell out of office,” Mattingly said. “Considering the cards she’s been dealt, McGrath and her team have done their best to campaign throughout the state and promote her platform.”

Mattingly further explained that McGrath’s safe and socially-distanced campaign events are effective in promoting her platform. McGrath’s campaign also offers volunteer sign-ups after her speeches, where students can volunteer to make calls or canvass on her behalf.

Certainly, the young voters that she looks to appeal to appreciate her choice to take COVID-19 safety seriously.

Furthermore, McGrath and McConnell took part in the first Senate debate on Oct. 12. The candidates were questioned on multiple topics including whether Breonna Taylor received justice, Supreme Court nominations and handling of COVID-19.

Neither candidate actually answered whether they believe Breonna Taylor received justice. This is problematic because two white politicians can easily avoid talking about this, as it doesn’t directly affect them. Avoiding the actual question doesn’t do much to show that they care about this particular topic, so each politician needs to do better with their answer.

Both candidates denied wanting to defund the police and condemned the acts of looting and violent protests.

“We have to follow the laws that were written,” McConnell said. McGrath responded saying that she believes “leaders have to take a step back and recognize that we need change in this country.”

Sen. McConnell doesn’t want to bring change to a system that he doesn’t lose against.

Election Day is Nov. 3 and all eligible students, faculty and staff are encouraged to register to vote. 

Absentee ballots must be mailed by Nov. 3 at 6:00 p.m. Early voting started Oct. 13.

Don’t miss out on Election Day. Do your part as a voter.

Graphic by Alexis Simon // The Louisville Cardinal

The post KY Senate Race 2020: Kentucky needs a change. appeared first on The Louisville Cardinal.

KY Senate Race 2020: Get out and vote in Kentucky’s local elections. Tuesday, Oct 20 2020 

By Catherine Brown-

Local elections are around the corner and students are encouraged to vote. On Nov. 3, Kentucky voters will have the opportunity to vote for our next state senator. 

Republican candidate and Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell faces opposition from Democrat Amy McGrath, a former U.S. Marine fighter pilot.

The intensity of this election has been building up for the past several years. 

In a red state like Kentucky, McConnell is already seen as a given winner. He has the power of incumbency that could easily bring him a win this fall. 

But Amy McGrath is certainly making a name for herself in this campaign cycle. Her campaign is known for many ads that catch viewers’ attention, including a cartoon series titled “Swamp Turtle.” The animation depicts McConnell as the titular swamp turtle, with episodes depicting his interactions with other politicians and reporters. The cartoon portrays McConnell as slow and apathetic towards current events.

However the decision is ultimately Kentucky voters’. Those who vote are able to make a difference for those who can’t vote.

By voting, you impact the future for millions of children, non-citizens, and those who can’t vote due to physical restrictions.

This election is probably not going exactly how everyone expects it should. With COVID-19 affecting polling locations and voting procedures, it’s hard to get used to a new Election Day. But every registered voter should know that when they first registered, they were signing up to exercise their constitutional right to vote. 

The Cardinal has created two articles on both Senate candidates with U of L student’s opinions on who you should vote for.

For an opinion on why you should vote for Amy McGrath, click here.

For an opinion on why you should vote for Sen. Mitch McConnell, click here.

Remember, the time to vote is now. Early voting has already started. Have you made your plan to vote this year?

For more information on how to vote this year, visit the Jefferson County Clerk’s website, or Kentucky’s official voting resource website.

Graphic by Alexis Simon // The Louisville Cardinal

The post KY Senate Race 2020: Get out and vote in Kentucky’s local elections. appeared first on The Louisville Cardinal.