What’s Your Issue?: Rock the Vote… Or at Least Use the Vote You Have!

Recently YCI launched their Global Action Grants for Canadian Youth aged 18-35 interested in creating innovative solutions to youth issues in development. Three $500 grants will be awarded to young people from across Canada to fund micro-projects that raise awareness about development issues at home (here) in Canada. To help with ideas, alumni who are members of our Youth Writers and Speakers program will be sharing what youth issue the feel strongly about. The third  in this blog series comes from Leigh Matassa, our Program Assistant in Toronto. Leigh discusses youth voter rates in Canada. 

Leigh thinks youth should rock the vote. She is also a fan of this environmentally friendly ride.

Youth these days…

We want all the power, responsibility and respect we can get our hands on. Yet somehow every 8 months or so, an opportunity comes knocking and we throw all those so-called “wants” and “needs” away! Politics – dry, boring, complicated and just plain dull, right? Wrong!

Sure some politics involve old stuffy white guys talking about bills and policies that don’t seem to have any impact on your personal life what so ever. However, taking a stand (AKA: VOTING!) does in fact make a difference in not only the big picture, but you gain an individual (and immediate) sense of ownership over your rights! Most people between the ages of 18-24 wouldn’t know that because they haven’t taken the time to practice it. We are so lucky to live in a democratic society – a luxury many people have never experienced. Now is the time to change.

According to Elections Canada, The most frequently cited reasons for not voting included youth being too busy with their work, school and family/friends or travelling during the time of the elections. Excuse number one is slightly more valid than the second – here it is: “insufficient knowledge about the parties, candidates and issues.”

We all have time to spend countless hours on social media, tweeting, instagraming and facebooking right? Well why not take a fraction of that time to check out who’s riding your neighborhood falls in or what their platforms are (or what a platform even is!)

As I mentioned before, the time for change is now! If you are 16, 18 or 25 years old – it’s never too early or too late to start educating yourself so that you can make an informed decision. There is already a wave of change happening with the “Rock the Vote” campaign taking over several countries. If I were to receive a Global Action Grant of $500, I would use that money to hold my own rally – featuring the supporters (and downright awesome band) of rock the vote – Tokyo Police Club to play at my event, talk about the importance of voting and, ultimately, raise awareness and excitement about Youth voting in Canada!

That is what I would do with a $500 Global Action Grant.

To apply for our Global Action Grant, please send your application to Sarah Vickery. Applications are simple, just tell us what’s your issue and what are you going to do about it?


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