Troublesome in the Press

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We’re very excited to share this article from The Advocate, Mt Hood Community College‘s newspaper. Daphne Martin writes about our reboot and political activism.

Political Activism Club reboots | The Advocate Online

Political Activism Club reboots

The Troublesome Movement, also known as the Political Activism Club, is a new group of students at Mt. Hood coming together to promote working for the common good and letting everyone’s voices be heard.

Stephen Graves, MHCC political science instructor and club president, came up with the idea after realizing he always had students who liked the concept and wanted to take it a step further. To him, it wasn’t mainly about politics, elections, and voting booths, but instead, promoting a community.

“Politics isn’t just voting, it’s going to PTA meetings, school board meetings, and making things change,” Graves said.

His goal is to educate people on what is being voted on, such as putting fluoride in the water (Portland voters rejected that plan) and legalizing marijuana – and not merely be a voting drive – because students should have a say in what is being done and be in control of how they feel about their jobs, working, or even taking their kids to daycare, he said.

Graves’ club meets once a month and also takes part in community service. The point of working together towards the common good is, in his eyes, “to bring resources to the minorities” and to show that the importance of making a change is “something that is more than one person. There’s a big gap between working hard and receiving it all in your hands,” he said.

His own inspiration for the movement, the ideas and the goals came from growing up poor. He said he lived with his brothers and single mother, who he believes worked harder than 90 percent of the people he knew. When he attended the University of Puget Sound in Tacoma, Wash., he felt as though he could never let his own ideas and thoughts come to fruition. That’s why at Mt. Hood, he has his students share their own ideas through debates and lectures.

Graves has high hopes for the Political Activism Club. “You have to seek (out) greatness, and not just the speakers, but the doers,” he said.

He plans to host political debates on campus to show the importance of what the people are voting for. He also wants to host an outdoor camp for young boys from low-income households, to teach them how to live in the wilderness along with important life lessons for later on.

With the mindset to outwork people, raise the bar above mediocrity and to gain public notice, Graves and his movement have some large ambitions.

Those interested in joining may contact him at stephen.graves@mhcc.edu. The Troublesome Movement has a Facebook page, Twitter handle, and individual website, as well.

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