Best Life: Young voices change politics
SAINT LOUIS, MS. (Ivanhoe Newswire) -- Voting is a powerful way to have your voice heard. The trouble is more people than ever before are not voting, especially young voters. A new study reveals one reason Millennials and Gen Z feel they don’t have equal representation, and it’s true.
The average age of members of the house is 57 years old. In the Senate, it’s 62. But one young woman proved politics is the best way to have a voice.
“My name is Bushra Amidala. I am the youngest Muslim elected official in the United States,” said Bushra Amidala. “There has never been someone at a younger age who has been elected to public office of this ethnic and religious demographic background.”
Young-female-Pakistani-Muslim, four things that could have stopped Amidala. Instead, they motivated her.
“It is imperative now that we get involved. I won my election with 56 votes. Therefore, every single vote counts and matters,” she said.
At 24, Amidala sits on the board of education of Skokie school district 73 and a half.
“There’s some sort of comfort that comes from seeing someone who looks like you represented in space,” said Amidala.
It was seeing Amidala’s success that motivated other young female minorities to step up.
“I think that really helped me like see that my voice was actually as powerful,” said 17-year-old Yhafsa Feroz.
“I think Bushra really helps, um, women and minorities see that they can put themselves in places that they haven’t seen themselves in before,” said 19-year-old Romesa Amiwala.
“I think representation really matters and I don’t think I would’ve been able to step up unless someone who had been through similar experiences as me looked like me, who was a woman of color and out in my small community had done the same,” Feroz added.
“If you can be someone who can break those stereotypes and, um, do good and promote good, um, you should a hundred percent do that,” said Amiwala.
Amidala encourages others to lead, whether it’s at school, on the school board, or in a higher office. She advises young people to first, remember who they are.
“Remember your brand, remember your story. I think that it’s imperative to know where your roots are, because that drives what you do,” said Amidala. “The second thing is people will kill your confidence and they will do that successfully, but people can never kill ambition. And the third thing is mentors and people who lift a handling hand, remember them, thank them, don’t forget them and then be that person for someone else.”
And she hopes to continue to make a difference in office and in life.
“I know that me doing this will inspire others to step up as well. And that is what keeps me going,” said Amidala.
She hopes to become the first female Pakistani Muslim elected official for the state of Illinois. She has just written a book, called Courage Finding Your Power to Make a Difference. You can find it on Amazon.
Contributors to this news report include: Marsha Lewis, Producer; Roque Correa, Videographer and Editor.
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