When it's time for a political election you see candidates marching around town, giving flowery speeches, running aggressive campaign ads, hugging babies and shaking hands. But as an African-American teen you may ask yourself: What does this all of this matter to me? The answer is: A LOT.
African-American teens suffer from: the highest unemployment rates (46%), the highest high-school drop-out rates (56%), violent crimes, and are disproportionately subjected to police brutality.
All these things a mayor can influence. Yes, there is a lot at stake for you in a mayoral race. The mayor can also entice businesses to move into your area which can provide jobs and business opportunities. He can get tough on crime to ensure your safety, while holding the police responsible for abuses. The mayor can enhance the quality of your education by managing the board of education and allocating sufficient funds for schools. The mayor can mandate after school programs, summer jobs, parks and recreation. So when a mayoral candidate comes to your community asking for your vote, ask him where he stands on the issues that affect you: jobs, crime, education, recreation and police conduct.
So what can you do? Learn each candidate's positions on your issues, through the media or by attending their events. Once you have identified the candidate that best represents your interests, give them your support by voting and spreading the word. If you are not yet of voting age, you can still participate, by attending the candidate's events and volunteering to help them win their campaign!