There is no such thing as the phrase, “I’m not really into politics”. Politics affect everyone, regardless of how little or how much they may notice! Encourage young people to harness their passion and turn it into political power that other generations will take notice of. Below are five ways that the youth can be motivated to kick out the indifference and inspire real change-making involvement:
1. You’ve Got My Vote
Organize to hold voter registration events at local high-schools, colleges, festivals, and fairs. Getting young people registered is just the first step of many, but a critical one in the direction of greater youth involvement. Be sure that those who are running the registration booths are well-briefed on the subject so as to be able to answer questions like “What if I change my address?” or “What’s an absentee ballot?”
2. Know Your Rights
Urge young people to understand the importance of knowing and understanding their rights. From the ins and outs of due process within the Bill of Rights to recognizing the importance of tenants like the 19th amendment (which first began the journey to allowing all women the right to vote), encourage them to have a deeper political literacy should their circumstance ever call for it.
3. Signed, Sealed, Delivered
Got an issue that you’re wildly passionate about but aren’t quite certain how to get involved? Host a protest party with supplies for creating protest signs/art and stationary for sending postcards to local and state representatives. For signs and art, provide poster board, cardboard, markers, paint, and stencils. For stationary, provide pens, stamps, and postcards, and have a list of your representatives’ names and addresses at the ready. This kind of event is especially relevant if there happens to be a protest or march taking place within the same week as your sign-making/postcard-writing party.
4. Lend a Hand
Encourage young people to get involved with their community or world at large by volunteering! Whether it’s helping at an animal shelter, creating care packages for the homeless, fundraising money for the arts, or some other track, there’s a passionate place for everyone to assist in. Remind young people that all politics begin locally, and volunteering is one of the most tangible ways to see that a difference has been made.
5. Something to Rally Behind
Got an election coming up? Check to see if there are any candidates stopping by a town near you on their campaign tour! Political rallies are exciting and create a sense of unity and urgency that young people should cling to. Plus, it’s a great opportunity to connect with other politically motivated individuals and change-makers.