Find Your Voice | Raise Your Voice

Bloomington-Normal NGP meets with Illinois State Representative Dan Brady

BY: BHAVANA RAVALA

On November 28th, 2017, the Bloomington-Normal Chapter of Next Generation Politics had the opportunity of hearing from an elected official: Illinois state representative Dan Brady. Rep. Brady has represented the 105th district in the Illinois House since 2001, and he has also taken upon the role of Deputy Minority Leader. As such, he had much to share with us about government and politics.

Talking to high school students like ourselves was certainly no new task for Mr. Brady. He is constantly out and about in the community connecting with his constituents. As a state representative, his term in the Illinois House is a short two years, meaning he and many other representatives are pressed for time to make a change. In his time in office, Rep. Brady has focused on local issues such as the education system. The very school we met in, University High School, has been impacted by his work in the Illinois House. During the upcoming spring session, he hopes to continue focusing on higher education in Illinois, the state budget, and other pressing issues.

Over the course of his career, Rep. Brady has learned the importance of bipartisanship, which he was more than

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“Pizza and Politics” at Masters School, NY, Chapter

 

BY: THOMAS FALCI

On Wednesday, November 15th, the Masters School chapter of NGP hosted its first major event – a heated and informative debate on gun control and the 2nd amendment. The leaders of the club, Thomas Falci and Amanda Taylor, believed that in light of recent mass shootings nationwide, this is a topic worthy of discussion at Masters. While the majority of students at Masters do tend to lean left, during this debate there was a wide variety of opinions and perspectives, which led to a spirited exchange of ideas. The 90 minute long session started with the viewing of an interview with a passionate gun owner – conducted by a pro gun-control interviewer – to serve as a starting point for the debate. Next, the Masters participants from each side of the debate were given 10 minutes to prepare an opening statement, after which one person from each side stood up and presented his or her case. Once opening speeches were completed, the debate began with little interference from the moderators to ensure the most organic conversations possible.

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Idaho NGP Raises Money for Puerto Rico Hurricane Relief

A STATEMENT FROM IDAHO DIRECTOR, GRACIE DOYLE

After hearing of the devastation caused by Hurricane Maria in Puerto Rico, the NGP chapter of Wood River High School in Idaho felt obligated to help though any method that we could. Our amazing fundraising leaders and treasurers, Petra Glenn and Davis Olson, organized a bake sale at our local grocery store in order to raise money. Many of our wonderful members baked and donated treats to be sold. We raised just over a hundred dollars, with which we plan to buy a bike to be raffled off at our next event. We hope to raise as much as we absolutely can by selling raffle tickets.

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NGP Hosts Forum With One of the Youngest Elected Officials in Long Island’s History

 

BY: DIYA CHADHA

Earlier this month, the Syosset High School Chapter of Next Generation Politics held a Town Hall at the Syosset American Legion with – then candidate and now Nassau County Legislator-Elect – Josh Lafazan .

As a millennial himself, Josh Lafazan has made a name for himself on Long Island. After becoming a Syosset High School Board of Education member while still attending high school, Josh began to expand his community presence and became more involved in local politics. Since then, Josh graduated from Harvard and Cornell and he recently ran a successful campaign alongside upwards of 40 teen interns, and was elected as legislator of the 18th district of the Nassau County Legislature at 23 years old – Josh is now the youngest individual to hold this office in Long Island’s history.

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Harborfields, NY, Chapter engages in local government & hosts event with Huntington Councilman

BY: JACK TALIERCIO

On November 1st, 2017, Huntington Councilman Mark Cuthbertson visited the Harborfields High School Chapter of Next Generation Politics to discuss and share what his responsibilities are as a Councilman in addition to his platform for his re-election. We first discussed how Mr. Cuthbertson got involved in politics: he told us that he was always interested in politics but originally went into law. He started a Law Firm, Cuthbertson Law in Huntington, New York, and worked there until 1998, when he became a Huntington Town Councilman, and he has held the position since.

Mr. Cuthbertson then began telling us about the responsibilities associated with his position. He informed us that the Huntington Town Council is made up of four Council Members and one Town Supervisor. The Council’s primary concerns are implementing local laws, passing the town budget, and appointing department and deputy directors. In his opinion, over the years Mr. Cuthbertson has pushed for several laws that have improved the quality of living in Huntington. He told us about his efforts to attract big businesses to Huntington like Canon USA and Rubie’s Costumes. He has also worked towards environmental legislation to preserve certain areas of the town and promote renewable forms of energy. Recently, the Councilman sponsored legislation to ban smoking on athletic fields in addition to legislation for the better treatment of dogs.

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Forum with Arizona Rep. Butler!

 

BY: ARTHI MACHERLA

Earlier this month, the Phoenix Country Day School Chapter of Next Generation Politics held a forum with Arizona House of Representatives Member Kelli Butler. Members had the opportunity to ask Rep. Butler questions, advocate for issues they care about, and interact with their state representative.

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NGP Meets with Senate Minority Leader Schumer

BY: RYAN ADELL

On October 20th, 2017, members and leaders of the New York Association of Next Generation Politics met with United States Senate Minority Leader Schumer to share the mission of Next Generation Politics, discuss the upward promotion of young people in party leadership and provide ideas on how candidates for office and elected representatives can build a party platform that is more appealing to young people.

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An interview with former Parliament member of the European Union, Emine Bozkurt

 

BY: EUNICE PARK

Emine Bozkurt is an advisor for the International Institution for Democracy and Electoral Assistance (IDEA). A former parliament member of the European Union, Ms. Bozkurt has extensive experience in politics. Throughout her 10 years in the European parliament, Ms. Bozkurt was a passionate advocate for immigration rights, women’s issues, and human rights. Currently, she is working to support emerging democracies and various human rights campaigns across the world.

I recently had the honor to interview Emine Bozkurt about her political experiences and advocacy. Although she initially had no prior plans to get involved in politics, she was inspired to become involved in politics after she realized that real change would not result until individuals stepped up. “Civic participation is not only a right, but also a duty”, she stated. She went on to explain how there has been a growing culture of political apathy, and the only way to combat such a culture was to educate the youth. Currently, she is working with the IDEA organization to develop specific programs that invest in the youth to provide civic education and volunteer opportunities for different communities.

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Arizona NGP – “Donuts and Discussion”

BY: ASHNA YAKOOB

This week, the BASIS Peoria High School Chapter of NGP had a constructive Roundtable Discussion about gun violence. Chapter members calmly shared their views and attempted to create common ground on the issue, all while sipping tea and munching on donuts. The main discussion point boiled to not whether there is a unique gun violence problem in America, but rather an attempt to discover its solution.

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