Sitting in the thick of election season reminds me of how powerful democracy can be. We are such an unruly and diverse collection of citizens with passionate opinions that run the gamut of political thought. And we have set up a framework for reaching consensus that gives each adult – the high and the low, the young and the old – equal say-so. That is the theory.
But it takes work to make democracy work. What are the issues? What are the candidates’ proposals for addressing the issues? What does this mean for today? This year? This decade? This generation? The generations to come?
Teenagers and young adults are immersed in the very important work of figuring out who they are, what they want to be. For many, the democratic process floats around them on their TV sets and Facebook newsfeeds, a source of drama to watch but not to participate in.Voting rates have varied over the years but the population ages 18-24 years old always comes in last.
Inspiring Participation in the Democratic Process
Democracy Matters aims to move the needle. This non-profit organizes student leaders on campuses around the country to strengthen democracy the old fashioned way: through grassroots organization. This means supporting campus leaders in educating fellow students about their role in the democratic process and inspiring students to raise their voices.
High schoolers can’t vote. But they can learn. Democracy Matter gets this. And they plant the seeds in high schools around the country. High School Fellows work on outreach, public speaking, and writing.
Here’s what one college student has to say about her experience: “Democracy Matters has given me hope that we will be able to create change and make our democracy truly the people’s.”
Learn more at http://www.democracymatters.org
That’s what it’s all about.
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