To my fellow future world changers,
As we draw closer to the election day, I’ve noticed many of us have been expressing distraughtness, as our future seems bleak. But I’d like to encourage you.
In recent times, we’ve seen Greta Thunberg and Malala Yousafzai becoming a powerful voice for our generation, and heard their words reach many ears. Here’s the thing: The movement doesn’t have to stop at them! As a collective youth, we are the change. We are the solution we are fighting for. We belong to a generation of thinkers, creators, speakers, innovators, dreamers and change makers. Get loud because that’s what gets people to finally tune into our perspective. Stay motivated because there are so many things that we can do better, and so much we have working in our favor. And this all starts with you.
I’ve overheard conversations of people our age not wanting to get involved in politics, and I implore you to rethink your position. Not having to care about politics is a privilege, and those who are able to speak for their community should.
When you vote, you’re not just voting for yourself, you’re voting for me. Vote for me. Vote for all the people who can’t make it to the polls. Vote for the people who can’t vote. This is our time.
In an interview with my fellow Youth Commission member Amy Ojeaburu, we spoke about youth advocacy. We belong to a generation where we’ve seen so much progress, such as our first Black president, and recently, our first female biracial vice president candidate. However, we don’t view change coming from voting. What we need to understand is, while there are many other ways to contribute and be active in our democracy, voting is fundamental and the only way we can 100% percent know for sure that our voice is being heard.
To all my 17-year-old friends, I implore you to preregister to vote. To all my 18-year-old peers, register! Make your voice heard! Complacency has been the cause of many injustices, and we cannot stand to leave things the way they are.
Here’s how you can get involved:
• Register: If you are 18, you are able to register online up to Oct. 26. Here’s a cool tip: organizations such as Headcount.com offer sweepstakes for people who check their registration status.
• Vote early: After registering online, the Federal Way PAEC is open for early voting on Oct. 31, 10 a.m. to 4 p.m., and Nov. 2, 8:30 a.m. to 6 p.m. The Performing Arts and Event Center is also open for in person voting the day of Election Day, Nov. 3.
• Vote with mail-in ballots: If you are unable to vote early, ballots will be mailed out around Oct. 14. Fill them out and drop them off in your local ballot dropbox. Federal Way has two: By the City Hall and the 320th Library, which open the day after.
Other ways to be a youth advocate?
• Spread the message: Tell your friends to vote, educate others, and hold each other accountable.
• Educate yourself: The first step to solving a problem is to understand it. There’s so much you can learn from reading your local news, like the Federal Way Mirror.
• Join an organization: There are people who share your vision out there, and take every opportunity that comes your way. I promise, you won’t regret it.
We’ve accomplished many things, but we have so much left to do. Who’s going to change the world? We are.
COVID-19 testing site
In response to the Mirror’s article “COVID 19 testing site to open in Federal Way.” It’s about time. We’ve been far underserved as a community since the pandemic started. It seems the only emphasis was on Seattle, which grossly diminished the value of the rest of the county.
I recently had to get tested (negative results) due to possible exposure by a coworker. The only site near us was in Auburn at the old GSA warehouse parking lot. Please let everyone know that site is a multi-lane drive-through with minimal wait time, and you get treated with respect as a person, not a potential threat. If you still need tested, go there.