Mark Lafer, born and raised in Passaic, NJ, has been living in State College since 1988. He and his wife are always some of the first people to vote in their precinct in eastern State College.
He attributes it to their position as precinct co-chairs for the Democratic party.
However, Lafer’s passion for politics is very clear in conversation.
“I’m off to the Democratic headquarters to do about three hours of phone banking,” Lafer said. “To get out the vote.”
Lafer’s wife provides rides for voters who need it, mainly Democrats.
Lafer has been involved in politics since he was very young thanks to his parents, both of whom served in the military and were very politically active. He says he got his start handing out Coca-Cola to phone bankers.
“Eventually my father ran for local office and I managed that phone bank for a while,” said Lafer. “I’ve been active for candidates at higher levels staring in 1968 campaigning for Father [Robert] Drinan in Boston while we were living there.”
Lafer’s main reason for voting in this election can’t be boiled down to one policy issue. In fact, it’s all of them.
“The next president will decide at least one, probably three Supreme Court appointments. Since the Supreme Court rolls over very slowly, if it moves in one direction or the other, it will shape decisions on law possibly through another generation,” said Lafer. “So when you hear young people say ‘what’s important in this election?’ for me that’s the primary one.”
About the Contributors
Senior / Broadcast Journalism
Allison Gasparetti is a New Jersey native and currently a senior at Penn State University. In December of 2016, she will be graduating a semester early with a degree in Broadcast Journalism, a minor in French/Francophone Studies, and a certificate from the John Curley Center for Sports Journalism. Allison recently traveled to Rio de Janeiro in September to provide coverage of the Paralympic Games for the Associated Press. She is currently on staff with Big Ten Network’s Student U, where she has gained valuable live production experience, and is also a producer of In The Game, an Emmy Award-winning production that dives deep into sports stories with local and national impact to create a magazine-style show. She takes great pride in being a reporter and past producer for Penn State Sports Night, a student network-affiliated show centered around Penn State athletics. She has enjoyed being a member of several student organizations on campus, in addition to her part-time job and various other activities at Penn State. You can visit her personal portfolio at allisongasparetti.weebly.com or follow her on Twitter @a_gasparetti.