Students heard from city councilors, commissioners, and students who discussed the theme of student participation in government and why teens should become more involved in their communities during Local Government Day Thursday, Feb. 27.
Junior Coral Lin, North’s Next Gen Voices officer, organized the event in order to help students learn about local government.
“Our goal with hosting Local Government Day is to educate students about the diverse roles and inner workings of a local government in order to inspire students to get involved in their local democracy and take action in their community,” said Lin.
The speakers and panelists taught students about how local government operates, different ways to be engaged in local events, and the importance of voting.
Lin said a few ways students can participate in their local government is by registering or pre-registering to vote, voting, staying informed about local and state issues, voicing their concerns to their elected officials, attending public hearings, and advocating for issues that matter to them through clubs and organizations.
Clubs organized presentations on Main Street, including Ligerbots, Next Gen Voices, and the Young Democrats club d-block. Students set up at various tables provided details about their clubs and their connections to local government.
“Pick one or two issues that you care about and just lean into government,” said Mayor Ruthanne Fuller during e-block
“Our purpose is to bring out voices that are never heard, and elevate them,” said Bryan Barash, a member of the Newton Human Rights Commission.
“We don’t want to teach students what to think, but how to think. We really want students to come up with their own thoughts and opinions because that is key for our democracy,” said Newton Public Schools (NPS) Superintendent David Fleishman during b-block.