"It is important to vote because many issues that impact every day people are decided upon by the elected officials that are put in office through voting. By not voting, you are disregarding one of our most prominent tools as Americans. It is important because we need representatives that represent our communities. We need more Black and brown folks, more young people, and more women in Congress. Generally we need every person, no matter community background, gender, ethnicity, or anything else to have representation in government. Whether it’s in local elected offices, in the Oval Office or in Congress. It’s about being given a seat at the table, and having access to the same opportunities as my white counterparts. To me that’s what means the most. As a young person, I want to be able to look at my governor and see myself in them, to know that I have a chance to be in that position if I desired to. To know that although I’m not making the laws or have any authority over them, that the people representing my community will be vocal about what’s effective and what’s destructive to my community. It’s about being fair, and being equal. It’s important to vote because our lives depends on it."
2) What causes are you the most passionate about when it comes to voting?
"When it comes to voting - I am passionate about Criminal Justice Reform, Gun Control/ Gun Violence Prevention, and any other causes that are fighting to uplift disenfranchised communities. When elections are held, I examine candidates based on their stances on these issues. Although I can’t vote yet, I am always open to endorsing candidates who are willing to fight for these issues alongside my community."
3) Do you believe the youth can make a difference when it comes to voting?
"For sure. Our voices are powerful, and I believe our generation will be the change makers. I am only 16, and I can personally say I got over 10 people who otherwise wouldn’t have voted in primary elections to go out and vote. I’m just one person, now imagine how many other courageous youth leaders did the same ? Then imagine how mainstream we can make voting if with the same urgency we convince all of our friends to vote when we come of age. In today's world it is much easier to influence others to go out and vote. We can make voting cool and incorporate it into our everyday conversations. We can switch up the game, especially with the many social media platforms that we have easy access over. The youth can make every difference, at any point, when it comes to voting."
4) How do you think you can use your voice to make a difference in society?
"I can use my voice in society to make a difference through my advocacy and activism work. Using my voice to always make sure conversations aren’t being had without my community’s inclusion. As well as making sure any space I’m involved in is inter-sectional. As a youth organizer, I can make a difference by organizing my peers and standing up for things we believe in. One being putting an abrupt end to the school-to-prison pipeline. I can continue to always uplift my peers, and share my platforms with them. As well as not only advocate, but also campaign and fight for change. I can even Practice being more vocal about some of the issues that matter the most to me, and get others to support me via social media and other platforms. In this way I can truly influence others positively and make a difference in society."