There is never a more opportune time to engage youth in the democratic process, than right now! The response of our youth to the Parkland Massacre Shooting of 17 students has been swift, intelligent, and powerful. We have witnessed a national student walkout on March 14 and on March 24th a national MARCH FOR our Lives that saw an estimated 800,000 students in Washington, DC demanding safe gun regulations with a message to the public that youth will be heard, youth will vote, and youth will register others to vote.
I am hearing from some Leagues that students have been running voter registration drives, asking for training, launching civic programs for the public, soliciting help in organizing forums on gun control, as well as showing up at school board meetings.
High school students are on fire. People are listening.
Let us help them engage others in registering to vote and to get out the vote! Each League needs to be active in helping NOW before the school year ends. Contact your League if you want to help!
From LWV of Huntington:
Our Running and Winning workshop held on April 18 was a huge success even surpassing our high expectations. Thirty one students from six schools attended. This was an extraordinary group of female students from very diverse backgrounds who all were extremely engaged for the entire program. The six elected publicofficials (threeRepublican and three Democrats) with the two women (one from the Green Party and the other an independent) who had recently run for office but did not win all told their stories and experiences from their hearts and inspired the students. Our 11 youth committee members all were prepared and knowledgeable being excellent facilitators as well as organizers. The different candidates and campaigns that were presented by the six groups of students after lunch demonstrated the students’ concerns on important issues ranging from the environment to gun safety, their desire to grapple with these issues, and their creativity in creating a virtual candidate and campaign. Each presentation was different although all of the candidates were single women. The evaluations as well as the oral testimonials from public officials, students and teachers which were made during the last half of the program exemplify that our goal for this program was accomplished. It would not be surprising if some of the attendees not only considered a political career but in the future will run and win. At minimum they will all be informed and involved and once eligible to vote at 18 will consistently do so. They got the message so often articulated by the public officials that they can be anything they want, they can make a difference, and they will. Our future is in good hands.