Original first person article written by Luna Azcurrain for Chalkbeat
In June, high school student Luna Azcurrain attended a Zoom workshop organized by her high school to encourage students to register to vote. Azcurrain was discouraged to see only 10 students in attendance, motivating her and a friend to begin researching the voting system in the U.S. to better understand how it works and who has power. When asking her friends why they didn't attend the workshop, they responded by saying they felt their vote didn't matter. Through her research, Azcurrain found that many young people were misinformed about their voting power, and began designing a new workshop focusing on the dynamics of political power, the power of one’s vote, and how voting impacts our lives. Azcurrain began presenting the voting workshops in classes at her school, informing teens that elections are not just about voting for the president but that voting including state and local politicians that more directly impact our daily lives, "Next year in New York City, there will be elections for mayor, City Council, and borough presidents. These officials also draft and pass legislation that may affect everything from how schools and public hospitals are funded, to whether roads are repaved, to what the city’s minimum wage is, among many other consequential decisions." Azcurrain emphasized the importance of representing the interests of young people in politics, and wants to ensure that young people, people of color, immigrants, working-class New Yorkers, low-income communities, and members of the LGBTQ+ community are no longer left out of decision making.
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