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By Tiara Risby

Voting is more than a wave in the same way Gunna says “Pushing P” is more than a phrase — it's a lifestyle. Philly Youth Vote started two years ago to convince the Philadelphia School Board to use school as the place to get every high school senior who is eligible in Philadelphia registered to vote.

What have they done. . .? The real question is what HAVEN’T they done? They’ve convinced 24 people and counting to testify in front of the School Board, and wrote an entire model proposal from scratch — a nationwide first! They’ve written Op-Eds for numerous papers. AND, they’ve provided the platform for students like Sheyla Street to voice frustrations regarding the safety of her peers and PUSH for a Voter Registration & Education Program in schools now.

Organized by Central High School Teacher Tom Quinn, Philly Youth Vote has grown into PA Youth Vote as students in surrounding townships began to want to convince their peers to move from protest to power. They‘ve been pushing for two years and have already made such an impact! From #VoteThatJawn to students at Penn, people are not only praising but STUDYING their accomplishments to figure out ways to grow their success! And now, because of their relentless efforts, on Feb 24 there's going to be a School Board resolution to offer voter registration in high schools. That’s P!

In Sheyla’s words: “Time is limited”. So, we are calling for the PA School Districts to begin #PushingVoting and getting 18 year olds registered in their building NOW because at the end of the day, the people who are going to be making the decisions that will affect our lifestyles for years to come should be chosen by us — the youth.

Remember, registering to vote is only the first step. To go the extra mile, we must further educate ourselves in the voting process, candidates, and their positions to make our votes really count!

In the meantime, join the push by calling, emailing, testifying or tuning in on Feb 24!

Tiara Risby is a proud member of Delta Sigma Theta Sorority, Incorporated., and former Miss Black Pennsylvania USA


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