As a 19-year-old, I fit into the age bracket of people who are less likely to vote on the future they'll be living in.

When talking to friends, they say they are not engaged with the local elections. Some say they don't understand Council so won't vote.

As I am a journalist, I report on Council meetings. Before I started attending Council meetings I would have been the same as my friends - Council does seem confusing, or hard to understand, when you aren't directly engaged with it.

After a few meetings however, I began to see the importance of Council to my age group. Every meeting I attended, Councillors were making decision on facilities that we all use.


Whether it is the roads we drive, the pool we swim in or the WI-Fi at the Stratford Library, these are all services and facilities owned, operated or looked after by Council.

I plan to be a homeowner in the future. Aside from the fact our local Council has been a key player in the new subdivision in town, Council also sets the rates for any property we'll own.

Unless you have been living under a rock, you will be aware it is "my generation" who have been loudly demanding action on climate change. Well, it is "our Council" which is responsible for our waste collection, and which is making decisions on how to encourage recycling and a reduction in landfill. Our Council, like many others, has signed the Local Government Leaders' Climate Change Declaration.

Young people in our town are particularly lucky to have a Council which actively supports a Youth Council, and we have great youth councillors working hard to make our town fun. Don't tell me you were bored last weekend when there were tickets to Scary Night on sale!

Young people benefit from a good Council just as much as the older generation - so why aren't we voting?

I cannot speak on behalf of my generation but I can say that my generation should be taking the opportunity given to use our voice.

I'd rather have a say in the future of the district I plan to live in than to simply say nothing and end up regretting being silent.

If you do nothing then you cannot complain about the outcome because you did not participate.


One vote can change an outcome. For example, in USA, a one vote difference changed everything. In 2017, Democrat Shelly Simonds won a seat in the Virginia House of Delegates by one vote.

We have the chance to decide on who will be making decisions on the future of our district. Let's take it.