Fremont teacher experiences election first-hand

Lisa Shafer with her cousin in Cleveland, Ohio, where they worked on getting out the vote for Hillary Clinton. (Photo courtesy of Ms. Shafer)

Lisa Shafer, a teacher at Fremont High School, took a semester break from teaching to focus on the election whose presidential outcome shocked the nation.

Shafer worked with an organization called Northeast Ohio Voter Advocates, whose goal is to help people vote, especially low-income people and people of color. People working for the organization are not allowed to tell people who to vote for but they do encourage them to have their voice heard.

Shafer registered people at food pantries, employment offices, high schools and even jail. For Shafer, it was very interesting to go to the Cuyahoga County Jail. In one week, she registered roughly 700 people to vote. “A lot of times people think that if you’re in jail, that you cannot vote,” she said.

Lisa Shafer at a November 6th Hillary Clinton rally in Ohio where she worked on registering voters. (Photo courtesy of Ms. Shafer)

She also attended one of Trump’s rallies. “I have never felt so uncomfortable in my life,” Shafer said. Even though she is white and everyone in the room was white, she was not okay. “My world is not all white people,” she said. “I’m working at Fremont. I care a lot about people of color, people who are different.”

Shafer said she does not like the fact that Trump only appeals to one type of person. Regardless, an election exit poll by the New York Times showed 8 percent of African Americans and 29 percent of Hispanics voted for Trump.  “America is too different. We have too many different types of people and you have to have a president who is going to offer things to everybody and make everybody feel welcome,” Shafer said.

There were roughly three to five thousand Caucasian people present at the Trump rally Shafer attended, and only a small amount of people who were not Caucasian. “I felt that was disturbing, that people who watch it at home wouldn’t realize how white it was,” she said.

Shafer will return to teach at Fremont in January.