When I went to meet with my Writopia writing workshop kids this evening, I'd just read that voter turnout in my town was a mere 20%, and that really depressed me. I know it's not a Presidential election year, but municipal elections count. We're electing the people who run our towns and cities and perhaps most importantly, our schools. As it turns out, there was a late burst which brought us up to 33%, but still, that's pathetic.
If you don't vote, folks, you shouldn't complain when things aren't the way you want them to be. Yes, there are problems with the system, and yes, it often feels that our voices don't count nearly as much as the deep pockets of corporate interests, but not voting is an illogical option.
We always do a short writing warmup, and this evening, I spoke to my kids about how sad I was about the low voting turnout and so for the 10 minute warmup, I asked them to think about what issues would be important to them if they had the power to vote.
The answers were worth listening to - particularly for politicians.
- more subjects in school, such as social studies, chemistry, and much more.
- more gun safety.
- more air conditioning, because some schools don’t have any air conditioning.
- more activities, so kids can learn more, such as music, karate, art, and more.
- more recycling.
- more medicines for sick people.
- more homes for the homeless.
- no more war.
- no bullying, not just in school, but everywhere.
- good education for kids, and parents get paid a good amount of money.
- healthy food in school cafeterias.
- more food donations for the poor.
- food for less money, for poor people that have at least a little money.
- All guns illegal
- no homeless people, and everyone has a least a small apartment
- Things cost less
- You can drive at age ten, but only in small cars, and you can’t go on main roads or highways
- School lunches gave real food, and not some horrible mixture of stuff that they call salad. Also, they have a real menu, and fancy waiters and stuff
- Everyone gets a phone, at age seven in case of emergencies, but it only calls parents and 911 until they're older
- no homework, you spend six hours in school why should you spend another hour with mountains of homework
- no war
- I would change gun laws. I would make guns illegal all over the world. They don’t solve anything. Except killing people.
- I would make a law so that people of any race could vote.
- Cafeteria Lunches. They suck and they aren’t healthy. I would make sure every kid in America would get a healthy lunch.
- Every kid could get a good education.
- Every adult could get a good paying job. And they would get paid more than the minimum wage.
- Make sure that schools are safe for the kids. Make sure that no shootings happen or bomb threats… Make sure there are at least 2 police officers on guard every day.
- There wouldn’t be as many homeless people. Make sure they have food, water, and a little shelter.
- People that live in places where a lot of hurricanes, tsunamis… happen. They could have a place where they would be safe. Equipped with food, and water, and most importantly candy… J.K( but candy would be nice)
- Mostly,CHILD ABUSE!!!!! IT’S REALLY NOT O.K AS THE WORLD CHANGER I WOULD MAKE SURE ALL OF THE KIDS IN THE WORLD WOULD BE SAFE.
- NO RACISM!!!! IT KILLS PEOPLE ON THE INSIDE!!!
That 10 minute writing prompt told me so much about kids in city schools.They want more from their education than core curriculum and standardized tests. They want arts and music and the things that other kids have.
Holding class in Stamford on the day after a woman was shot dead in a city park, these kids want gun safety laws.
But most this was the sentence that spoke to me most: "No racism!!! It kills people on the inside!!!"
Out of the mouthes of babes...