They can’t vote, but Chicago’s high school students are voicing their opinions on the mayor’s race through the website Dear Mayor. The site is a project of the the Mikva Challenge, which is named for former congressman and federal judge Abner Mikva, and aims to get young people involved in politics. Through one-minute videos and letters, the students talk about crime, jobs, education and the arts. Here are quotes taken from some of the clips. Listen up, mayoral candidates, because these kids will be voting next time.
Dear Mayor, I would want you to address more youth jobs because I feel the youth need to be trained in some sort, by having jobs at an early age to prepare themselves for the real world -- Dashawn, Al Raby High School
Dear Mayor, One issue that I would want you to address would be college preparation for students, especially for one person as myself. I would be the first person in my family to go to college, and the process has been extremely stressful. -- Sara, Curie High School.
Dear Mayor, When you enter office, I hope you work very hard to end the violence in Chicago, because many families are going through the casualties of losing mothers, brothers, daughters, aunts and anyone close to them. -- Marcus, Al Raby
Dear Mayor, I really hope that you take into consideration funding for the arts. It’s a really great way to keep young people off the street and to help culture and develop their minds, and it’s really important, and it’s fun. -- Anthony, Lindbloom College Prep
Dear Mayor, I would hope that you focus on after school activities, because most of us don’t even have a place to go, and honestly, if I wasn’t here, where I’m at right now, doing media, I’d be on the streets, so I want more activities for kids, and more jobs. I need to see myself safe and active. -- Kevin, Kenwood Academy
Dear Mayor, I want it to be not as much of a strict budget, because the budgets we’ve had in the past, there wasn’t enough money to do the projects that we do, and being a part of the safety council, there’s a lot of things we have to get done, and I believe that if there’s enough money in the budget and in the pockets of people, then we can do things we want to do as security guards. -- Johnathan, Urban Prep Charter Academy