Digressing from my focus on local government, I am sharing a “history repeats itself” moment to illustrate the current trend of young people becoming active in government:
During the November 1957 election, I was elected to the Buena Park City Council, and subsequently appointed mayor at the ripe old age of 27 and informed that I was the youngest mayor in the U.S. at the time. Fast forward to January 2018 when I became “Twitter friends’” with 23-year-old candidate for Buena Park City Council, Connor Traut:
Traut has been active as a volunteer in organizations since his high school days and is now pursuing a law degree as he prepares to pass the California bar. He is an example of the young activists of today, and the hope of America’s future; what this column hopes hopes to do is to shine the light of awareness on our local citizens young and old.
Prior to becoming a candidate for city council, I too was very active in local community organizations including the Jr. Chamber of Commerce, which led to my candidacy. I wish Connor Traut success in his campaign as he follows a path so similar to what mine was and I plan to follow his career as he enters the world of government.
Meanwhile, back in Poulsbo our young people attending North Kitsap High School joined hundreds of thousands of young people across the nation a few weeks ago, participating in the “Never Again” movement as they walked out of their classes for 17 minutes to make their voices heard.
That day, one of the Herald’s reporters, Nick Twietmeyer, addressed John Willett who said: “I just love this, I was a protester back in the ’60s, It’s just great to see the kids again taking charge and moving the discussion, it’s just great. I’ve been waiting for this for a long time. This is democracy at its finest. The funny thing is that we heard from our elders at the time, ‘Kids, it’s going to take three generations for change’ … I’m figuring this is the third generation here. It’s all hopefully going to come together here.”
You might be right, John — maybe the young people of today will show us the way to end the violence before our democracy is destroyed and the American way of living free is taken away. The “March for Our Lives” organized by students of Parkland, Florida’s Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School subsequently grew to incorporate 700 cities and every continent in the world in 39 days; that is something we all need to make note of as an example of what can be accomplished with participative action in government.
Results of the “March” are already showing up in some state Houses and in Congress, albeit in small ways nipping at potential solutions, which is encouraging; big things happen in small steps.
An example is how effective and quick the boycott called for by ‘March for Our Lives’ movement leader David Hogg was, as Fox News advertisers of commentator Laura Ingraham, fled after her vicious public attack of Hogg, also causing Ingraham’s impromptu week long “vacation” announcement.
These young people are serious and should not be discounted by Congress or local city, county or state leaders..
Readers are urged to participate in this column by sharing their thoughts, volunteering to be interviewed, suggesting new and different topics and people you feel would like to share their experiences to be interviewed in the coming weeks and months…
Bill Effinger can be reached at email@example.com and @WREPro on Twitter.