Find Your Voice | Raise Your Voice



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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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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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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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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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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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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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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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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As we go further into the 2018 election cycle, this is a name that will be making headlines more and more: Fayrouz Saad. At 34 years old, she is running for the U.S. House of Representatives seat for Michigan’s 11th congressional district. If she wins, she will be the first Muslim woman in congress. This is a seat previously held by David Trott that will be up for grabs in the next election. I had the opportunity to chat with Ms. Saad about her passion to serve others, her hope for youth’s political involvement, and her campaign platform.

Saad’s engagement in politics began at a young age. She fondly remembers registering new citizens to vote outside naturalization ceremonies with her sister. This passion continued throughout college when she started interning on John Kerry’s campaign. She went on to work for the Obama Administration and became the Director of Immigrant Affairs for Detroit. Saad gives credit to her experience when asked how her background makes her a good candidate for the position. Because of her experiences, not only has she helped draft and pass legislation, but she has helped implement it as well. This expertise helped her to better understand what works and what doesn’t work in politics. Saad was eventually inspired to run for the house seat when she realized that there were practically no politicians who shared her cultural background, rendering many of her political views underrepresented. She is excited to bring a new perspective to the table and to better diversify the group of lawmakers in D.C.

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