DALLAS (CBSDFW.COM) – “Do you think that the politicians listen to you?”
Richard Marcus posed the question to a group of high school seniors at Dallas’ Hillcrest High.
“Do ya’ll know how powerful ya’ll are? Learn to use it.”
In the moments that follow, the founder of the Dallas-based nonprofit, March to the Polls, freely admits that politicians listen to his demographic, because they vote. He said he launched into a favorite spiel to remind the students that they have the same power, if they’ll only use it.
“A good education, your environment, a strong military, whatever is important to you,” said Marcus. “You exercise that voice, you’ll find that you’ll make this a more perfect union.”
Volunteers were at Hillcrest High School on Monday registering 18-year-old (and almost 18-year-old) students to vote. Marcus said he votes to protect his social security retirement and health care and then asks the students what matters to them?
“Everybody should have an equal opportunity for jobs,” said Oscar Acosta, who shared that he just turned 18 on Sunday.
“It’s important to tell everyone you have a voice,” said Acosta. “If you have an issue, you should definitely go vote.”
Hillcrest government teacher Angela Uno said she’s seeing students get excited and engaged with the real world impact of democracy.
“It matters to them, it’s about their lives and they want to make an impact,” said Uno. “This next generation is better and brighter than previous generations and they’re going to make big changes for us.”
“At this point, I feel like I’m able to change something, now,” said Giovanni Salinas, after registering to vote. He said he promises to follow through on the registration by showing up to cast his ballot in the next election.
“Yes, I’m gonna go vote!”