On Tuesday September 1st, State Representative Lindsey LaPointe and I hosted a Youth Town Hall. We spoke with three young leaders to discuss various political topics impacting our community.
The first speaker, Sam Brody, is a recent graduate of Walter Payton College Prep who is passionate about politics and public speaking. He talked about his organization “Teens to the Tally” which he founded in the lead-up to the 2018 mid-term elections. “Teens to the Tally” motivates as many young adults as possible to get out and vote. He discussed his process in creating the organization as well as road blocks and potential solutions in the effort to get young people to the polls.
The second speaker, Tonyisha Harris, is a Doris Duke Conservation Scholars Alumni and earned a Bachelor’s of Science with Honors in Environmental Science from Loyola University Chicago. Her activism revolves around the climate crisis and advocating for robust and comprehensive climate policy to address exacerbating factors. She has served as the Clean Jobs Coalition Administrator for the Illinois Environmental Council since September 2019, where she oversees coordination for the Climate Table and Steering Committee, engages with youth-led organizations, and assists with energy policy. She spoke about working to educate people about climate change and uplifting the voices of environmental justice communities, much like the one she grew up in.
The third speaker, Maya Khurana, is a high school senior at Walter Payton College Prep. She shared about Comprehensive Sex Ed Now, a student led and student founded organization advocating for comprehensive sex education in Illinois. CSEN has worked to promote legislation that would mandate comprehensive sex education in Illinois schools. CSEN also work towards improving sex education policies in Chicago Public Schools. All three speakers shared their political views specifically relating to the issues they are more invested in, and we were glad to hear from them!
It was energizing to hear from these students, and I am thrilled that this dialogue could take place. There is so much to learn from the perspectives of young people, and I hope these conversations can continue in the future.