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  • Writer's pictureMatthew Terrell

Election Year



 

Revere during election season is quite the unique place, this year is no exception. We see candidates campaigning on the same streets and stepping over the same potholes they promised to fill last election season, street corners becoming stands for political fans to wave their banners sky high, mailboxes become full with literature that act as if they hold the key to the future of the city, and yet another year of being a student navigating the sometimes wild world of Revere Politics.


But something is different this year – there's a change in the air. It's not just the oppressive heat and humidity we endured during the first week at our unairconditioned high school or the downpours that caused leaks not only in the ceilings but also the floors. This year, even though I will graduate from RHS in the spring and temporarily remove myself from the eventful local political scene of this rocky (in more ways than one) coastal city, I feel the need to get involved. My motivation isn't just for myself but for the many students I now know and the thousands of young children who will, both directly and indirectly, be affected by the results of this year's election through no fault of their own.


Reflecting on my experience, it isn't easy, especially as a student trying to navigate constant dismissals from adults and peers who claim, "You're too young" or that "kids are driven by emotions, not facts." Even some of the very same elected officials who tirelessly profess their commitment to "representing all voices" seem to contradict themselves when they confess the opinions of over 7,000 students are meaningless simply because we can't vote. Some even actively work against student efforts to promote youth civic engagement in our city.


In times like these, I'm reminded of John Lewis's wisdom: "Never, ever be afraid to make some noise” I've learned to find victory and satisfaction in even the smallest achievements, especially the criticism, because, at the end of the day, we're still moving forward. We've created important dialogues with numerous elected officials, secured this incredible opportunity with the Revere Journal to amplify student voices, and, more often than not, found ourselves embroiled in necessary, meaningful "good trouble."


I write this not only to inspire future students but also anyone who wishes to effect change. No matter how daunting the task may appear, getting involved is crucial. Whether it's taking a moment on your way home to get to know the faces behind the colorful signs you see on street corners, emailing elected officials even if they don't directly represent you, or simply stepping outside your door to engage with your neighbors. Even in a city as diverse as ours, with countless ideas and experiences, we share a common desire – to love where we live, and we must find communal power in that.


And it is for that reason that I find myself always wanting to be involved and be a part of something bigger than myself especially in a community as special as Revere.


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