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Election 2022: Some thoughts from Gen Z

AP Govt BHS.jpg
Back row Left-Right: Raeann Osborne, Kian Anderson, Gretchen Fullum, Stephen Jemtrud Elise Lockner, Charlie Maus, Nick Seitz, Rylie Melado, Noah Reimer, Jeff Aas (teacher) Front row left to right Alena Miller. Sienna Swanberg, Mirama Seely, Evelyn Cordts, Mya Huseby

Bemidji High School Gov't Students Share Election Perspectives

Gen Z and voters under 30 showed up to polling places and had a profound impact on elections this November. In this Area Voices, we hear thoughts from some of our youngest, local voters and those just on the brink of voting – students in Jeff Aas’s AP Government Class at Bemidji High School.

Click the green bubble above for the whole conversation... where you'll hear perspectives on campaigns, the election process and issues that matter to our youngest voters … and hear from our inspired youth how they thing campaigns might be more effective in the future!

… the whole campaign scene feels a little hectic… it's easy to find information but hard to find good information…you kind of have to hunt it down…They should have QR codes or something to their direct website, so I can find that a little easier…I feel like everyone is like ‘I am Republican, I'm a Democrat’ and you have to be one or the other, but I feel like a lot of people, more people, are becoming moderate. They have mixed views and right now the political ideologies are not showing that. – Mirama Seely

…actually I think that …voting should change and that we should have proportional representation for voting instead of how we have it now… the parties… they're breaking…if we could vote for different parties, then something would be different, but I don't know if it would be in a good or a bad way, but I think it would be better than what we have now with everyone forced to try and fit themselves into those two parties…It's going to break down eventually… - Rylie Melado

The campaigns, I wish I saw more promoting candidates instead of bashing their opponents…seeing all the good of them instead of pointing out all the wrongs and bad of their opposing candidate – Noah Reimer

Students were candid about the issues that matter to them and the importance of having constructive conversations around them…

… women's rights issues are obviously something that's really important to me and … equality across the board as well as reform in a lot of areas like education…Evelyn Cordts

…Gun control is a big one since we are still in the public school… we'd like a little bit stricter control over that. Not completely take the way because that just will never happen, but stricter controls on it so that we can keep students safer and feel safe coming to school… - Elise Lockner

…another thing mattered to me is minimum wage. I think… we should hike it up a little bit more... so that we can pay for college and … actually live. – Mirama Seely

…the increasing polarization. That's kind of a concern. The economy, definitely, like, with inflation and cost of living… cultural issues that matter to me, too…the cultural framework … it's still very prevalent, and I think a lot of politicians are trying to use that more… because it's easier to…polarize people that way, as opposed to just, like, debating, like, tax cuts... – Kian Anderson

And they discussed how things looked when they were younger, compared to now as well as the importance of practicing constructive conversations around heated topics….

…when I was very young, my mom ran in an election, so I got, like, a very good experience...on how it was at a young age. But now that I'm older, it's easier to understand what it's all for - I understood what was happening when I was younger, but now I know what it's for… - Mya Huseby

Being in a government class is very helpful.. because we’ve lost political discourse in a calm way, which I kind of understand, because I feel like issues have gotten more extreme in recent years and change has been needed so much more… and we need to have conversations…And I think it's important to stay informed and vote. – Evelyn Cordts

Click the green arrow above for the whole story!

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Katie Carter started at Northern Community Radio in 2008 as Managing Editor of the station's grant-funded, online news experiment Northern Community Internet. Since 2016, she's produced Area Voices showcasing the arts, culture, and history stories of northern Minnesota. She's our local host of NPR's All Things Considered and CBC's As It Happens every weekday from 4-7pm.