The Joplin Globe, Joplin, MO

Opinion

February 10, 2014

Your View: Younger generation must vote in local elections

JOPLIN, Mo. — With the events of this past week, I feel more of a need to urge the younger people in our community to get out and vote. Voter apathy among our Generation X and Generation Y populace needs to come to an end. I think now more than ever our young professional people in our community need to be called to action to make decisions for our city that they feel represents them.

Most of us as working professionals get tied up in our day-to-day routine and easily overlook those rare occasions we have to go out and vote.  Most of us pay no mind to the “smaller” elections that are less publicized and not on the larger scale to garner all the hype that a gubernatorial or presidential election can bring.

Nonetheless, our local politics can be equally as important as we seek to improve our quality of life in the community we live in.  Often younger people in their careers feel they lack the freedom in their workplace to leave to go vote due to time constraints in their work day; or they often don’t see a window of time in their day to go vote between dropping kids at school, going to work, picking up the kids from whatever after school activity they have, and then making it home for dinner.

Perhaps the lives our demographic has given itself has prevented us from taking part in our civil liberties, but I say we need to remind ourselves of our civic duties and get out to vote.  By law, your employer is to allow you time to go and vote on an election day.

Perhaps this is not the best medium to reach these busy citizens of Joplin and encourage them to break free from the chaos we embed ourselves in, but we need to reach them somehow.  I’m sure with many readers I am preaching to the choir, but it’s time our peers become aware of this voter apathy.

I don’t know how you can achieve a zeal in these registered voters of Joplin in the next 60 days, but we need to get them to realize voting for civic matters needs to make their agenda of “important things to do” for the day.  If you know someone who stays too busy to be involved, I urge you to take up this message and encourage them to take the time to vote.  Encourage these younger people to vote for who and what they feel represents their beliefs and to not be afraid to take a stand.

 Ryan Jackson

 Joplin

 

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