Pennsylvania teens too young to vote are voicing their opinions
Nearly 100 Jewish teens go to Ohio to participate in the Election
— by Carly Lundy Schacknies
They can’t yet cast a ballot, but that isn’t stopping Claire Akers, Jessica Cohen, Rachel Ellis, Hannah Frank, Kassidy Garcia, Emily Gorby, Micah Rabin, Danielle Salisbury, and Jeremy Witchel from Pittsburgh, Jack Mangurten from New Kensington, Marissa Snyder from Upper Saint Clair, Ellie Sullum from Clark Summit, and Johanna Ure from Wyomissing and the nearly 100 Jewish teen leaders from across the country from getting involved in the political process on November 5 – 7, 2012. They are attending BBYO, Inc’s program, Voice Your Vote: An Issue Summit on the 2012 Election and Civic Responsibility, in Cleveland, Ohio.
On Election Day, the teens will choose their preferred candidate and will hit the campaign trail to advocate. BBYO has worked with the Romney Ryan and Obama Biden campaigns to assign the teens to some of Cleveland’s busiest polling locations.
More after the jump.
The Summit participants are members of BBYO’s high school leadership programs AZA (for young men) and BBG (for young women) and the Bukharian Teen Lounge in New York. In Cleveland, the teens will learn about the issues being debated in this election cycle through a series of bipartisan learning sessions. They will hear from guest speaker Frankie Goldberg, a Cleveland Juvenile Court Judge Candidate and BBYO alumna, and BBYO’s Jewish educators about how they can continue to be involved in the political process while maintaining their Jewish values.
“It’s so important that today’s young people understand how to approach the political landscape and the responsibility to do advocacy while staying true to their Jewish values,” said Aleeza Lubin, BBYO’s Director of Jewish Enrichment for the Midwest states.
As the results come in, the teens will watch and tally towards 270 at their own Election Night Watch Party. They will also connect live with their peers at BBYO’s other community watch parties in Washington, DC, Denver, Kansas City, Miami, Pittsburgh and Westchester, NY. The community events are all open to the entire community and feature partnerships with local youth movements NCSY, NFTY, USY, as well as HEA Youth Programs, Jewish Student Connection, and CAJE.
BBYO’s programming is teen inspired and led, and the summit is no different. Sofie Jacobs, 16 years old, from Rockville, MD, Sierra Lash,16 years old, from Oakland, CA , Brad Honigberg, 17 years old, from Mequon, WI, and Gary Levine, 16 years old, from Dallas, TX, AZA and BBG members who are serving as program coordinators will facilitate, with staff support, a variety of sessions during the Summit.
“People think that teens don’t care about politics, but they’re wrong. We care about having an active role in our future and this is a great opportunity to not only witness, but also shape history,” said Sofie Jacobs.
Before returning home, teens will learn how they can continue to stay involved in the civic and political process.