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Jordan High Young Democrat Wants Discussion on the Hill

Oct 07, 2015 12:35PM ● Published by Bryan Scott

By Julie Slama

It began with a spring day, as Jordan High junior Kari Schott was hanging out with her friend Becca Romano, talking about what issues they could discuss as president and vice president, respectively, with the Young Democrats.

“We were talking about issues in America and thought about the inequality of pay and thought it would be easy to illustrate it with a bake sale,” Kari said, who founded the Young Democrats last school year after reading a book about the 2012 elections.  “At the same time, we could fundraise for our club.” 

After researching online and learning that women get paid in Utah about 75 cents to men’s $1, with a 77 cent average nationwide, Kari decided to bring it to the attention of her classmates.

“I think it’s an issue that should be discussed and isn’t right.  I didn’t choose the gender I was born, so why should I get less pay for being a girl?” she said.

After the 12-member club bought cookies, wrapped them in Saran wrap and put stickers on them, the Young Democrats took their plan to action, selling them to male classmates and teachers for $1 and to females for 77 cents.

“We had more females come to buy them.  There was a lot of anger, mostly with the men and boys.  They were posting on the internet pictures of the sign with the prices and angry comments about how we’re fighting inequality with inequality.  But that is telling us that there is an issue and I’m most excited that now, we’re talking about it,” Kari said.

That bake sale, which profited $150, gave the club more exposure than Kari realized.  Local television stations and national media interviewed students about the issue and bake sale.  

District Attorney Sam Gill met some club members and said that he was glad they were getting involved in politics and making students aware of issues and donated $100, Kari said.

However, that isn’t enough.  Kari has written letters and now is planning to meet with several state senators to discuss the issue and would like those conversations to carry over to the legislature when they next meet.

“I’m glad people are listening and noting this is important,” she said.  “I think people are scared to get involved in politics at my school, and since Utah is a Republican state, they may assume their parents would get mad if they’re involved in politics or in the Young Democrats.  I’ve learned that people don’t appreciate awareness of issues they don’t believe in and that I can do a lot as a young person, even if it’s as small as raising awareness with a bake sale.”              

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