Young Politicians of Color You Should Get To Know
By Arbed Marie Cancel
We can all agree that under this current Trump administration a lot of unfortunate truths have come to light. The increase of hate crimes and racial attacks, for one, are notable factors in today’s America. These issues have sparked more intrigue in politics for average Americans especially young adults. Whether it is the rise of social media or technological wants or needs, millennials have easier access to information now more than ever. With the monumental midterm election of 2018, having a record breaking amount of women and politicians of color elected into Congress showcasing that representation and inclusion is the future of American politics. Surprisingly, as young politicians rise to fame, like Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez, it proves that age is not reflective on wanting change.
Riding the momentum wave of representation, lets take a look a few up and coming politicians we should be on the look out for…
Kalan Haywood Jr.
The 19-year-old State legislator from Wisconsin is making history as the youngest legislature the state has ever had and the youngest lawmaker in the United States. He will be sharing his new position in politics with his second year studies at Cardinal Stritch University where he majors in business. He hopes that his age helps attract more young voters to register to vote especially in his particular district in where the usual voter turnout rate is low. It’s refreshing to see someone who only just became legal to vote a year ago already hold a position in politics.
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Jewell is a graduate of the University of Michigan-Dearborn and is currently serving his second year term representing the 11th House District. The 24 year old majored in finance and political science. His main focus while holding his position is on improving public education and creating a space for young talent to thrive in Michigan. He is an Army Reserves Officer and a member of the National Guard.
Mariah is seemingly noted online for her fist and fro. Parker also main headlines when she was sworn in to her position as Athens-Clarke county commissioner in Georgia on a copy of Malcolm X’s autobiography. Another title she holds along side being city commissioner is being an openly queer rapper. She is dedicated to transformative politics for communities of color. She speaks on initially feeling unfit for politics. She is a staple for young women everywhere that you can make a difference within your community and/or country no matter the color of your skin, your sexual orientation or the way you decides to wear your hair.
28-year-old Kenyatta currently serves as a State Representative for the 181st District in Pennsylvania. Malcolm was the first ever openly LGBTQ of color to be nominated in Pennsylvania for is position. He has made his mark fighting for LGBTQ rights in his district and most recently standing up against the Trump administration’s racist and homophobic initiatives. In 2017 he was named as one of the 38 “people we love” by Philadelphia Magazine.
Hailing from Staten Island, New York, Charles Falls worked as former Borough director for the Mayor of New York City. Assemblyman Falls’ long term plans include securing additional funding for schools and hospitals as well as expanding transportation services. In January, he introduced first bill entitled “ Marie’s Law” that would amend the domestic relations law, which would heighten the standard of courts pertaining to granting custody’s to minors who have been sexually assaulted.
Sunny Velez is a senior policy analyst working for the Real Estate Board of New York. She is dedicated to the keeping up with the policies that affect the real estate community in New York City. She is committed making sure that the safety levels continue to be top priority when it comes to city housing. She understands that being a recent graduate she is super motivated to assist in change but also knows that being practical allows her to get her job done efficiently. Velez is a prime example on that there are many positions and levels to make change through politics, that there are other ways to fight for your community, city and state.
Arbed Marie Cancel is an NYC based freelance writer. She is a proud Afro Latina from Brooklyn, New York. She specializes in personal finance, lifestyle and wellness.