Activism by young voters can make a difference

By David Villegas

Contributing Reporter

Activism by young voters can make a difference.jpg

Student activists play a large role in influencing elections and policy. Photo Credit: Daly Tongren

Many have already heard of how underdog Kim Foxx was able to defeat Anita Alvarez for the Cook County State’s Attorney’s office. However, some may not be aware of how this upset was made in the first place: by the Black Lives Matter movement and similar movements.

The BLM Chicago chapter, along with other local groups, made organized actions to get the three main politicians, including Anita, to resign for their inaction in the face of injustice.

It should be noted that a lot of the people in these direct actions have been students who feel they can relate to these situations.

“The point of direct action or ‘protesting’ is to disrupt business as usual to attract attention to a certain cause,” said Becca Wojcicki, a political science major and RISE member.

Wojcicki gave some insight on what goes into effective protesting.

“It is important to have a large enough crowd to draw attention, but also not too large where people may not know the etiquette of such an event. Many people think protests just happen and are violent, but that is untrue. Much planning goes into them,” she said.

Compared to older generations of protesters, young activists today have different methods of getting their message out.

Dr. La Vonne Downey, a political science professor at Roosevelt, said that young activists are the first step to changing policy and alerting people to the issues at hand.

Needless to say, the political process does not end with protesting, since there are also other steps to guarantee that the people’s voices can be heard.

“All protests and rallies have to be followed up with advocacy working with elected and appointed officials to bring about policy change,” she said.

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