I founded a chapter of the ONE organization at New Roads High School in Santa Monica three years ago, when I was in the ninth grade. ONE is a grassroots advocacy and campaigning organization that fights extreme poverty and preventable disease, particularly in Africa. ONE members raise public awareness and pressure political leaders to support smart and effective policies and programs that are saving lives, helping to put kids in school and improving futures. ONE was the brainchild of U2’s Bono and Santa Monica City Councilmember Bobby Shriver.

Our New Roads Chapter decided to challenge itself, and set a goal of getting every one of the 377 students at our high school to sign a petition requesting that the Santa Monica City Council consider raising its voice in support of these issues. As you probably know, 377 high school students rarely agree on anything, however, each student at New Roads did add his or her signature to our petition. I am proud to be a member of a student body like that of New Roads.

We submitted the petition to Councilmember Shriver, who agreed to bring it before the City Council. In Tuesday’s meeting, Councilmember Shriver presented the item, I was invited to say a few words about our petition, and a Santa Monica citizen, Jerry Rubin, commented in support of our efforts. I am pleased to report that the council voted unanimously to issue a proclamation declaring Santa Monica a ONE city.

Santa Monica joins over 130 other U.S. cities that have been proclaimed ONE cities. Santa Monica’s support of ONE helps to bring focus to efforts such as World Food Day. On Oct. 16, ONE will bring awareness to the issue of global hunger and malnutrition by hosting events around the country. ONE encourages everyone to tweet at 9 a.m. PST, calling on world leaders to make commitments to reduce chronic malnutrition by 2016, and to help 25 million children reach their full potential. Go to www.one.org for more information.

Please congratulate Mayor Bloom and all the councilmembers for taking this significant step to speak up for the poorest people in the world.


Camaron Engels

Senior, New Roads School

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