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What will the Youth Change?

Youth ChangeParkland survivors and March For Our Lives movement registering youth to vote in November, Miami Herald

Heard on Weekend Edition Saturday by Brakkton Booker
June 16, 2018
From transcript

The students from South Florida have become a potent force in the gun access debate with the March For Our Lives rally.  This summer they’re focusing their activism on a voting block for the November mid-term elections.  The Parkland Survivors bus tour called Road to Change is organized by St. Sabina Catholic Church, Grammy-winners Chance the Rapper and Jennifer Hudson, along with former U.S. Rep. Gabrielle Giffords.  It’s a voter mobilization effort to get young people registered and keeping them energized through the summer.  With the support of musicians, they plan over 50 stops in more than 20 states including Iowa, Texas, South Carolina and Connecticut.  In Florida, they will visit all 27 of the state’s congressional districts.  They aim to make voter registration cool.

According to the Census Bureau in the last midterm in 2014, only 23 percent of 18 to 34-year-olds voted.  For those between 18 and 24, that fell to just under 16 percent.  Researchers from Tufts University looking at voter registration numbers through June 13 discovered evidence of greater engagement by youth.  A Harvard University poll released in April showed that 77 percent of 18 to 29-year-old likely voters said that gun control is an important issue for them in the 2018 elections.  

Republican strategist Doug Heye praises how the Parkland activists have been able to sustain the gun discussion for this long.  The test, he says, is whether these young activists can exceed the voting intensity of second amendment right supporters.  “If you are a single issue voter and guns is the issue, what we’ve seen in the past is that it’s the pro-second amendment, pro-gun voter that is almost guaranteed to show up at the polls.”  

Matt Deitsch, the March For Our Lives chief strategist, says he is up for the challenge.  “We’re making voting something that is not just checking a box.  It’s literally you being a hero and you saving lives,” Deitsch says.  “That’s why we have to do this.”

What do the youth think?

 

“In the same way that there are limitations on the first amendment  where you can’t cry fire in a crowded theater, you shouldn’t be able to get an AR15 or any weapon that can kill a number of people if you are a mentally unstable individual, if you are a person with a criminal background or somebody with a history of domestic violence.  I don’t get what’s so hard for these legislators to understand.  It’s a sensible gun control that both sides can support, but they suddenly can’t because they are bought by the NRA.”

David Hogg
senior at Marjory Stonemason Douglas High School,
MSNBC Feb 26, 2018

 

“Politicians who sit in their gilded House and Senate seats funded by the NRA telling us nothing could have ever been done to prevent this…

WE CALL BS

They say that tougher gun laws do not decrease gun violence…

WE CALL BS

They say a good guy with a gun stops a bad guy with a gun…

WE CALL BS

They say guns are just tools like knives and are as dangerous as cars…

WE CALL BS

They say that no laws could have been able to prevent the hundreds of senseless tragedies that have occurred…

WE CALL BS

That us kids don’t know what we are talking about, that we are too young to understand how the government works…

WE CALL BS

If you agree  register to vote,  contact your local congress people – give them a piece of your mind.”

Emma Gonzales
student at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School
CNN Feb 17, 2018
 

Contact Your Representative

 

GET INVOLVED!    Click Here if you are a kid or would like information on contacting Congress.   Click Here  to send an email to your representative.

US Capital, Washington, D.C.

  • Make sure that you are registered to vote.  Many offices discard communication from non-voters.
  • Find the information you need and check the representative’s web site.
  • Be courteous and respectful.  Start a letter or email with Dear Senator/Representative.
  • Be very clear about the action you need and what the personal or local impact will be.
  • GET INVOLVED! click here for your representative’s phone,  email or letter contact info.
  • Ask for a reply if appropriate
  • Follow up by checking the voting record or the bill.
  • Express your appreciation for good work.