Students engage in local political elections, volunteer for primaries


Courtesy of Hammad Younas

St. John’s community members volunteer for Democratic Congresswoman Lizzie Fletcher’s campaign.

Arjun Maitra, Staff Writer

The Texas primaries kicked off the nationwide midterm election season on March 1. Although early voting began on Feb. 14, several SJS students have volunteered for local candidates since Fall 2021.

Sophomore Hammad Younas regularly volunteers for Democratic Congresswoman Lizzie Fletcher (‘93) and Harris County Judge Lina Hidalgo. Younas enjoys learning about the moving parts of election campaigns.

“The public usually only sees politicians and election excitement on TV, but I saw all the action behind the scenes as a volunteer,” Younas said. “A lot of effort goes into demographic research, voter education and ensuring we have a good turnout on election day.”

Junior Lucas Romere and senior Evie Barrett volunteered for Republican Wesley Hunt (’00). Romere decided to join Hunt’s 2022 Congressional bid in the 38th District after hearing him speak at a local fundraiser.

“Wesley Hunt emphasized many of the same values and beliefs that I have,” Romere said. “His message focused on preserving America for the younger generation, and that inspired me as a young person to help his campaign.”

Like Younas, Romere appreciates learning about a political campaign at the grassroots level. As a youth volunteer, he participated in a range of campaign tasks—phone banking, helping with check-in tables at campaign events and mentoring new volunteers. 

“My main contribution is blockwalking,” Romere said. “I think I have knocked over 2,000 doors while blockwalking for the campaign.”

The recent primaries were Texas’ first election using the new congressional districts map approved by the state legislature in October 2021. Younas was assigned by Fletcher’s campaign to encourage early voting in the new areas incorporated in her district, TX-07. 

Sophomore Hammad Younas campaigns door-to-door for Fletcher. (Courtesy of Hammad Younas)

“I block-walked in parts of Rice Military, Montrose and Fort Bend county included in re-drawn District 7,” Younas said. “We got to interact with voters who are new constituents in Lizzie’s district.”

He fondly remembers interacting with voters on a personal level, listening to their political opinions and answering their questions.

Barret block-walked for Hunt’s campaign in 2020, finding it to be a challenging yet confidence-building endeavor.  

“When I started, I would be unnerved when some people would slam the door on me, ” Barrett said. “But over time, I learned not to take it personally and continue with the work I believed in.”

Younas plans to remain civically engaged by volunteering in future campaigns, if not through pursuing a career in politics.

“Politics and government are effective ways to bring change in our communities,” Younas said. “Just being a part of an effort where you can learn to make a change on a wide scale is very fulfilling.”