Without the ability to vote, it can feel like teens get left out of politics and government. And unfortunately, the decisions that are made now — locally and nationally — are going to affect our generation the most.
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Since we’re the ones about to inherit the world, we should have a say in its future. Luckily, there are ways besides voting to get politically involved and make sure your voice is heard.
1. Keep up with news and current events.
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Skip the opinions on your Twitter timeline and Facebook feed and look for resources that are unbiased and trustworthy. Read articles about the current administration, what’s going on in your city, and any other topic you may be passionate about. It’s important to know what you believe before you can fight for it.
2. Attend a peaceful protest or march.
Marches are an amazing way to show your support for issues you care about in a peaceful way. While marches and protests have been around for centuries, they’ve recently increased in popularity with the Women’s March and Black Lives Matter movement. Some people believe marches are ineffective, but they can actually spark necessary conversation about issues that matter.
3. Call your representatives.
If there is an issue you care about, such as gun control or net neutrality, you can leave a message for your state representative and tell them to vote for or against a bill on that issue. There’s no age requirement to call, and all calls are tallied to give the representative an idea of what their constituents want. You can find your representatives here.
4. Volunteer at a local representative’s office.
If you are interested in the inner workings of the government and how policies are formed, volunteering with your local congressperson is an incredible opportunity. In some cities, such as Los Angeles, organizations like the Mayor’s Youth Council allow teenagers to voice their opinions in front of government officials. Volunteering and applying for these positions is one of the most direct ways to create change.
Whether you call your congressperson or lead a movement for a new bill to be passed, your actions matter. Your voice is more than just a vote.