The Voter Drought
By: Tom Huang and Jacy Duan
Currently, Arcadia High School faces a drought: not of water, but of voter engagement. This past year, the voting percentage per grade in ASB elections dropped significantly when compared to previous years. In fact, voter apathy within all four grades has been steadily increasing; it seems that the higher the grade, the less we seem to care. Undoubtedly, we should take into account our personal lives that include homework, extracurriculars, and college applications as seniors. Nonetheless, it is no excuse to disregard an important public servitude.
Our school serves as a microcosm for our community. The ability to vote is a privilege, and a constitutional right that a lot of people seem to not recognize. We can only improve as a city if we take advantage of our voices and cast our ballots, instead of allowing incumbents to continually stay in office. Furthermore, after attending Arcadia’s most recent City Council meeting, we noticed that there were very few people attending, and even less that stood up to make a speech. We witnessed the multitude of issues debated in our community—from mansionization to new building projects and soccer fields. These are problems that most of my peers are not cognizant of, but ones that directly affect us as Arcadians.
With the start of 2017 and a new presidency, it is even more crucial that as students entering adulthood, we understand the power that we can have in affecting government policies, beginning at the city level. Through Arcadia Civic Youth Council, many of us attend City Council meetings every other week and take notes on what is discussed. At our lunch meetings, we examine these policies and arguments, while debating and forming our own opinions. Only through this type of participation can we begin to foster a political passion in students that follows them through their lifetime—one that can triumph over apathy.