Kim Weaver | 10/22/16
I had the pleasure of being invited to the Candidate Forum at Charles City Community High School yesterday, where seniors at the school and neighboring high schools learn about civics and government by meeting candidates and asking them questions. My colleague Todd Pritchard, a Democrat representative in the Iowa house, and his challenger were also there, plus a county sheriff candidate.
What a pleasure it was to meet with our most newly minted voters, and those who'll be able to cast their first vote soon! The earnestness and eagerness with which these students engaged us was uplifting, a sign that today's youth are anything but apathetic, drifting along with their earbuds and Xboxes. They asked excellent questions about local issues, such as water quality and protection of Iowa's wildlife, as well as questions of national import, such as working through gridlock in Washington and how to afford the cost of a college education (one of my most prominent policy planks). One aspiring young politician asked me about the difficulties of campaigning as a woman, and several others in the crowd approached me afterward to discuss how best to enter the political realm.
One thing each and ever candidate agreed upon is that as soon as they turn 18, the students should all register, learn about the candidates, pick their favorites, and vote for them. I urge you to encourage all the young adults in your family and social circle to do the same. This election will depend upon turnout among African-Americans, Latinos, women, gays -- in other words, all the groups Trump and Steve King have insulted and denigrated and seek to harm -- and also the youth vote. When young people vote, Democrats win!
So let's energize all the young people we know to get out and vote, as early as possible. And if any of you young readers have a good enough job to toss me a few bucks, my team and I would sure be grateful. Thanks so much for your enthusiasm as you embark on participation in our great democracy.