The Warrior

Why should you vote?

By Benjamin Griffin, Reporter

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When people refer to the “dangerous world” that we live in, they usually say that because of the person sitting in the Oval Office. With a divided country, and many federal issues that have dominated the news and social media, people sometimes forget about their local and state governments, or ignore local government all together.

On Mar. 20, Illinois will hold its Primary Election, where the state will get to choose their primary Democrat and Republican candidate, who will then face off for the seat on Nov. 6. The elections are for Congress, Governor and Attorney General.

All seniors, as well as juniors whose 18th birthday is before Nov. 6 will be able to vote in the upcoming election.

In Mark Zuckerberg’s commencement speech to Harvard, on May 25, he said that “change starts local.” Many other philanthropist and politicians have this belief as well. With the problems that our country has right now, it is very important that voters understand the importance of each vote, as well as the general importance of voting for the community.

Daniel Reynolds, Div. 965, is a student liaison (communicator and promoter) for Benjamin Wolf, who is running for the US Congress Chicago 5th District. Reynolds stressed the importance of youth participation in local government.

“These local governments are always such a close vote that all it could take is coming out and volunteering for a couple of hours to win,” Wolf said.

Wolf also believes that helping out local politicians provides you with experience in politics, and  shows how easily you can voice your opinion to a local government official.

Wolf has hosted meet and greets at local coffee shops and stores almost every weekend, which shows how a millennial could easily have an influence on what happens on Capitol Hill. It is as easy as walking into a coffee shop.

Reynolds is obtaining first hand experience of a political campaign, as he is interested in pursuing a career in politics.

Another participant in local government is a Lane student, a junior at Lane who preferred  to remain anonymous, and was the Vice President of the Lincoln Park/Lane Republican Club. The junior talked about the importance of having a knowledge of local government.

“It is important because we live in a community, that’s in a city, that’s in a state, that’s in a country. It is important to have the belief of importance, because that is what affects our everyday life most,” the junior said.

Both Reynolds and the anonymous student agreed that change starts locally, and that you can’t just wake up one day and become president. They believe that people who are interested in politics should address the problems that happen locally first, so that they can eventually build their way up to a level of knowledge where they can address the problems that happen in our federal government.

With many issues that are happening in our state, such as our suffering economy, population decrease of African Americans and Millennials, education funding, and the pension crisis, Millennials have an enormous impact on this upcoming election.

Students should not be voting based on a commercial or whether one is Democratic and Republican, but by researching and watching debates.

This will not only awaken them to the problems that Illinois is facing, but it will also help them understand their political beliefs, as well as make them eager to participate in the election.

Since 2000, the state has lost 195,000 Millennial college students, and 148,000 were lost in between 2011-2014, according to Illinois Policy..

All candidates, for every race, feel the importance of youth to be involved in politics and to voice their opinions.

With college students, seniors, and a handful of juniors being able to vote next month, the youth have an opportunity to voice their opinions in this election, and it could easily sway a predicted decision by the polls.

Real political change starts locally, and the students of Lane need to be aware that each and every vote matters, for it is the issues in your own community that matters most.

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Why should you vote?