Letter: Good citizenship depends on an educated electorate

To the Editor:

On a recent Saturday, I responded to an invitation from Ben Blake to show up at Democratic  headquarters and help with a lit drop for the municipal election. When I arrived there were some friendly familiar faces, but more impressively there were dozens of young people eager to go canvassing for local candidates and supporting the issues of the campaign.

I chatted with several of the frequent attendees, teens who reminded me that they were from Jonathan Law and Foran high schools, and that though the initial impetus to work on the campaign came from their schools’ government classes, they returned a couple of times a week because they felt a part of the process and it gave them a sense of purpose and understanding for local government.

Similarly, I spoke with some delightful young men from Notre Dame high school who ‘schooled me’ in the differences between requirements for community service, the AP Youth and Government program, and the course options for government classes. They shared their enthusiasm for hands on  participation in community issues and the “grassroots of government.”    And they told me how much they learned about local political workings and “how much effort,  manpower and behind the scenes work” is required in the local election.

It has occurred to me over the past few years how important it is for our young citizens to understand their community’s issues and governments. To a great extent, it is these city boards and elected as well as appointed officials who determine their educations, their rights and privileges, their recreation and often opportunities. The basis of good citizenship resides in an educated, invigorated and engaged electorate. We should all know who our local officials are and in what capacities they function. I applaud these young people and the adults who encourage their participation which informs and improves the city of Milford.

Anne Greeenstone