Council Member Jimmy Flannigan Discusses Importance of Political Activism

Sophomore+Class+President+Alice+Zhang+speaks+with+Council+Member+Jimmy+Flannigan+about+student+participation+and+activism.+

Sophomore Class President Alice Zhang speaks with Council Member Jimmy Flannigan about student participation and activism.

By Catherine Wiesehuegel, Reporter

District 6 Council Member Jimmy Flannigan visited Westwood on Wednesday, March 28 to talk to students about the importance of voting and help them register to vote.

“There’s a movement happening right now across the nation,” Council Member Flannigan said. “Young people are the ones who are setting the tone for politics–the elected officials, certainly at the federal level, have fallen behind on their ability to represent the community and we need young people to step up.”

Students came in during second block to register to vote in the 2018 midterms and ask Council Member Flannigan questions. One student asked how youth activism affects legislation and how students can maximize impact.

“I was at the march downtown,” Council Member Flannigan said. “I’ve been to a lot of marches recently. They’re an important tool of democracy and they definitely need to occur, but unless we vote, that’s the only thing that’s actually going to change.”

The conversation was also influenced by the recent Parkland shooting, with much of the discussion focusing on how young people can make a difference, even without being able to vote.

“How do we make sure that we’re engaging before tragedy happens?” Council Member Flannigan said. “That we’re preventing tragedy? That we’re actually thinking about what it’s going to take to solve the problems that high schoolers can work on today to benefit them when they’re in their 30s and 40s? You know we can’t just rely on people who are going to be dead by the time these things get done.”

After an open discussion with the students, Council Member Flannigan took a photo with the students who came and talked with them more individually, taking time to listen to each student.

“Doing the right thing is often the very easy thing,” Council Member Flannigan said. “It’s important for young people to step up and it’s important that it’s not just at the end of a tragedy.”