The Youth Votes Matter campaign is one created by youths with an aim to increase the voter turnout in youths. With elections right around the corner the movement wants to encourage youths to register and vote in order to have a voice in the general elections. YVM has partnered with organizations such as the Commonwealth Youth Council, Caribbean Regional Youth Council, The National Students’ Union of Belize, the Department of Youth Services and BK Sports to ensure that their message is amplified. Today we spoke with the media representative, Bryton Codd who told us more about how they will go about achieving their goal.
Bryton Codd, Media Representative, Youth Votes Matter: “What we are planning to do is have segmented sessions with political experts as well as politicians or political representatives. I think it’s important for young people to begin to engage in big “P” politics as well as small “p” politics because if we look at the statistics we make up 60% or approximately 60% of our nation’s population as well as about 40.1% between the ages of 18-34 of our electors and so it’s important that our young people begin to understand the importance that we play in the direction of which our country is going. I think definitely there has been some level of segregation between the varying youth arms within the country and so what we’re trying to do is find opportunities in the deficiencies and bring together young people under one banner of civic responsibility and engagement in the political process. As such we are reaching out to varying youth arms across the country to be a part of the evening sessions which will be digesting everything that happened in the formal discussion on Love in the morning where we’ll be talking to policy experts as well as political representatives and so the young people will be more actively engaged in the evening sessions where we begin to digest that information and how our interests, concerns as well as our issues are considered in that regard. Over the years we’ve noticed that young people have not been considered at the discussion table. We have a culture in this country where these types of discussions are considered “big people” conversation and we tend to be ostracized from the developments, as such we are trying to change and move away from this hegemonic and ageist type of culture to one that is inclusive of young people considering the fact that we make up such a large majority of the population and whatever policies are developed, whatever projects are proposed will directly impact if implemented will directly impact young people.”
The campaign launches tonight and will go on until election day which is November 11.