It’s time for more Millennials to join the fight for fair voting maps

I admit, in the face of the poor weather on that Monday, I was worried our turnout would be … less than great for the People’s Hearing on Fair Redistricting at the NC legislature.

I have been to more than a couple of public political gatherings, so I know the painful cringe of an event with a “fringe” appearance. Gerrymandering is important, but it’s not the most exciting thing – even within the current political climate of North Carolina.

That’s why personally marking down the names of dozens upon dozens of attendees who arrived for the people’s hearing was a very gratifying thing for a guy on his third day working as an intern with Common Cause NC.

The more than 150 people who came down to the hearing at the legislature, even if they did not speak, demonstrated a clear level of dedication to making our state a better place. Many of the attendees were already longtime Common Cause supporters, and most of the state was represented in some way.

We’ve only just entered the month of June, and the drawing of our district maps does not look like it will leave the news nor the courts anytime soon. But reflecting upon the public hearing at the legislature that evening, I found myself somewhat concerned about the lack of younger people present.

Of course, citizens of all ages are needed to show their support and participate in the effort to end gerrymandering. Our work in this aspect is simply cut out for us to get more Millennials to engage in the fight for fair voting maps.

Young people are always quite literally the future, and given that they’re the peers of everyone on the CCNC internship team, we’re in an excellent position to bring more in.

Gerrymandering is one of a number of different political issues I want to become involved in across the state during this summer with Common Cause NC, and I have faith we’re going to make an impact.

To frame it in Robespierre’s sense of history, we currently live in times of emergency. We can let the uncertainty hold us in fear, or we can hold it in excitement – it is exactly when change can happen.

Beñat Quartararo is a student at UNC-Asheville and a summer 2017 intern with Common Cause NC.

 

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