Young People Speak Up
Contributed by Amy Wang, a member of the House District 38 Student Leadership Cabinet.
As a young person living in a politically polarized society, I’ve come to understand that everyone’s voice matters in creating a strong community. On June 22, female signers in Lakeridge High School’s Company show choir embodied this message as they raised their voices in a performance of “Quiet” by singer MILCK at the opening ceremony of the Oregon House of Representatives. The popular song, performed at the Women’s March, serves as a means of catharsis for past trauma and as an anthem for overcoming adversity.
The Company ladies’ rendition highlighted their common goal: to share the importance of standing up for what you believe in and speaking for yourself. Our opinions, voices, and votes matter, especially when policies involve issues that directly impact our lives. In a political system where officials are divided and entrenched, it is essential that people speak out and urge their representatives to focus on creating tangible, positive change. Youth civic engagement can sway political decisions and elections now more than ever. While following the recent election, I realized the importance of speaking up for one’s own viewpoints and engaging in meaningful and respectful discourse. Whether we engage politically in the form of campaign work, artistic outlooks, protests, or direct discourse with elected officials, the motivation will be the same: encouraging early youth participation with the systems and policies that govern their future.
Rep. Ann Lininger standing with the ladies of the Lakeridge High School Company, the school’s show choir.