By: Joanne C.
Election day is less than two months away, and the country is covered in political campaigns, political ads, and canvasses. I’ll be voting come November. But this is the first Presidential election I can vote in, since I was too young last time.
The Census estimates that 23.7% of the US is under the age of 18. That is a LOT of people, people who cannot vote, and thus don’t have a traditional voice in the future of our country.
But I said a “traditional voice.” Just because you can’t vote doesn’t mean you don’t have a say, and can’t make your opinions heard. That’s why the Day of the Girl is so great. It’s a way for youth to get involved in local government, to have YOUR representatives hear what you have to say, and actually get something proclaimed to show for it. A Day of the Girl proclamation is the first step to further involvement, since it’s quick and easy, and familiarizes people with the ways of local government. Come October 12, I want you to go back to your local officials about a real, pressing problem in your community, and I want you to tell them what you think, tell them what you think should be done. Come November 6, I want you to launch a letter-writing campaign, or a petition, or an awareness campaign, or SOMETHING, in your community, so that your community hears about a problem, hears about your ideas for solutions, and gets moving. Come 2013, I want you to change the world.
You don’t have to vote to have a say in the leadership of the country. You can be the leadership, and you don’t have to be 18.
(Also, if you can vote, make sure you do! I highly recommend looking into the backgrounds of all local and national candidates that you can vote for. It’s your right to vote, but I think it’s your responsibility to make an informed vote!)
Protest in 2005. (Yes, everyone pictured here has been involved in the Day of the Girl campaign!) Photo by Emily Menase