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September 24, 2012 / needhamgrassroots

Needham Teen: A Challenge: You’re Not Too Young, You Know Enough–This is Important! (And Fun)

Ali is challenging other young people to join her in  making a difference!:

I’m 17 years old, and I’m a senior at Needham Public High School. I won’t be able to vote in the upcoming election(s). But the political process affects me, too.

I can’t leave it to chance that President Obama isn’t re-elected, or Elizabeth Warren and Joe Kennedy elected–so I’ve sought other outlets for making changes: I’m getting involved in their campaigns.

I know it’s easy to ‘hate politics’, and dismiss yourself from the political scene entirely.

Sure, there are lots of reasons to be disappointed and give up on the process altogether, because “nothing will ever change.”

But I’ve come to realize sitting at home and grumbling about politics doesn’t exactly change anything, either. And I don’t like ”giving up”.

So I now look at it this way: If you hate politics, despise your politicians, and see unfairness–change it!

It’s not going to happen overnight, true–but it’s not going to happen at all if no one does it. So get started!

It’s easy to view politics as a monstrous bubble with no way in our out. And it’s easy to believe we have no say in American political culture. Easy doesn’t mean correct, though. Grassroots community organizing–which in campaigns, means (among other things) canvassing and phone banking and organizing your friends and neighbors–can and does generate real and important change.

I first started canvassing this summer in New Hampshire for Obama. I’ve since been up several times, and have canvassed locally for the Warren and Kennedy campaigns. I’m even working on a fellowship for the Obama campaign now.

Grassroots organizing is the most effective method of campaigning. Going door to door, talking to others and explaining why you’re there really does have a very real effect on people. In these conversations, you have the power to change peoples’ minds, voice your opinion and influence this election.

Need more reasons on why you should canvass? Well, political engagement matters. The paramount policies in the upcoming election will have a legitimate, tangible effect on our futures. The next president decides the extent of our student loans, our access to birth control, health care, and our taxes, and more.

Think canvassing is terrifying? I dare you to try it.

Never has anyone responded rudely to me. Sure, people may disagree with your view, when that happens–you respond cordially, thank them and move on. And it’s all the more fun to meet supporters–people who are just as psyched as you are. It’s actually pretty exciting.

You’re not too young; you know enough about politics (and you don’t need to know everything, either); this is important. And honestly- it’s FUN!

THIS WEEKEND: JOIN ME ON THE “BRING-A-FRIEND” KNOCK-THE-VOTE CHALLENGE!

Now’s the time to get involved!

  • Find a Needham teen who’s been canvassing this summer–and ask them to bring you this weekend! (Don’t know one? contact me–I’ll share!)
  • Or join us with a friend who’s new to canvassing too–and learn about it together!
  • Or come on your own and meet new people! 

Everyone is friendly–and you’ll have lots of support. You’ll go out with an experienced canvasser–there’s nothing to worry about!

Find me at school if you have any questions–and

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