The Student News Site of Tarrant County College

The Collegian

The Student News Site of Tarrant County College

The Collegian

The Student News Site of Tarrant County College

The Collegian

Students invited to conversation with local government

February 5, 2020 | Krissia Palomo | campus editor

In an attempt to encourage political engagement, two events called uVote 2020 will be held on NW Campus Feb. 6 and 19 in the NW library.

Both events will be joined by locally elected officials ranging from county judges to state representatives.

According to the Texas Tribune, 33% of Texas voters are under 30 years old, making Texas a state with one of the youngest populations.

However, early voting trends in 2018 showed a 500% increase in young voter turnout.

While this statistic is positive, this poses a challenge to candidates running for office in 2020 – How will they keep young voters engaged?

NW student Elizabeth Everett believes older voters play a key role in ensuring young generations become involved in elections.

“Older adults don’t see us caring about the political process or how government works,” Everett said. “Young adults feed off of that and stay uninvolved. It’s a cycle.”

While Everett knows she can’t force students to attend the uVote event, she recognizes the importance of knowing who represents her in local government.

Tarrant County has been known as a reliably Republican county but to many people’s surprises, Democrat Beto O’Rourke won the county during the 2018 midterm election.

However, just months later, municipal elections were held, and residents of Fort Worth were able to vote for a new mayor.

O’Rourke campaigned for Democratic nominee Deborah Peoples but Peoples still fell short on election day and lost the race.

Peoples’ loss is justified by some as the result of an election with low voter turnout. uVote organizers hope that this event can encourage students to vote in every election on every level of government.

“Local officials are the best representation of your voice,” Everett said. “The mayor, the city council member and the school board member are all making decisions that impact your everyday life in the community where you live.”

Everett believes that students who feel the urge to take the next step in their political engagement should consider volunteering for a candidate they believe in.

NW graphics specialist Diane Castro believes there is a disparity in which age groups are showing up to vote, which means young people aren’t being properly represented in our government.   

“Youth is the lowest voting demographic, while older people is the highest,” Castro said. “This means your grandparents are still making decisions for you.”

In Castro’s spare time, she registers voters and does what she can to help elect candidates that she supports.

Castro recalls a recent piece of Texas legislation that called for the removal of polling places on college campuses and admires the pushback the proposition received, causing legislators to push the effort aside.

“Voting is the way your voice is heard,” Castro said. “You must vote for the future you want.”

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