University of Connecticut students are trying to promote change from the ground up at the local and state levels. Both, motivated by injustices they see in their own communities in Connecticut, are hoping to give a fresh voice in local politics, a scene that’s notorious for stagnant politics.
Jacob Marie, a junior at UConn, is running for the Board of Education in Tolland. Meanwhile, JT Lewis, a sophomore at UConn and the brother of one of the victims of the horrific mass shooting at Sandy Hook Elementary School, is running for state senate in the district representing his hometown.
All UConn students should be inspired by these two running and trying to enact change in their communities. All UConn students should be excited at the prospect of their peers bringing their expertise to the political stage.
Politics has an unfortunate reputation of being an old man’s game where support is earned through favors and nepotism as much as actual good policy. And while everyone disagrees on what constitutes good policy, we can all agree that supporting diversity of thought is good for fielding out different opinions on what is right.
Basically, having young people involved in politics gives them a voice for issues that directly impact them. It brings a fresh perspective to an atmosphere that often chokes that out. And anyone who is discontent with the world or communities around them should take a page from Marie and Lewis, regardless of any fears about age or experience.
These two remind us that, even when we’re stuck on a land grant university in the middle of nowhere, we have the power to promote change. Local politics may not be as glamorous as those on the national stage, but they are often the most important in terms of direct human impact. So, while Marie and Lewis hope to bring their experience to action, The Editorial Board would like to ask: What are you doing to impact your community?