First Time Voter Turned Lifetime Voter

We are pleased to welcome our first guest blogger, Chloe from the City of Victoria Youth Council.

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My eighteenth birthday was in late October, and so the November 15 Municipal elections will be the first time I vote. Since the age of twelve, voting has been one of the biggest things I looked forward to when I was a “grown up”. I know not all youth share that (slightly nerdy) goal, but when I heard about wrongs being made in my community, my province, and in Canada, I longed for the facility to voice my displeasure with different levels of Canadian government. I would get frustrated, and still do, when I heard eligible voters denounce voting as something helpless, that their opinion wouldn’t be heard regardless, that their vote would be just a speck amongst thousands of civically responsible grains of sand.

As a result of these qualms, British Columbia’s municipal voting turnout is currently only 29.55%. To an extent, I can understand that. Municipalities are small. Municipal election are low profile, and it’s sometimes hard to notice the effects local government has, when the news we often get highlights the failures and triumphs of higher levels of government. Municipal elections, though not necessarily cause for hubbub and widespread drama, still have direct and very real consequences on where we live. Whether it’s a sewage plan, a new bridge, or a building permit, elected officials within a municipality have the very real ability to shape and change communities forever. Changes municipal governments make are felt immediately in communities, whether the changes are positive or negative. As the November 15 election approaches, I think it’s integral to remember we are voting for the future of our familiar, vibrant communities. On November 15, we’re all (I hope) going to be voting closest to home.

I’ve been a member of the City of Victoria Youth Council for the past two years as a way of engaging in my community without the means of putting a vote forward. The CVYC is a grassroots organization of youth 14-24 from around Greater Victoria hosted by BC Healthy Communities. The council hosts events in the City of Victoria, engaging youth in arts, health, environmentalism, and politics. Every year, our new and returning members collaborate meaningfully within the community, with City of Victoria councillors and staff, and with fellow youth. The CVYC ventures to strengthen our relationship with the city every year, and as more members reach the age of eighteen, we’re revving up to create changes together as a council, and independently as young voters. To learn more about the City of Victoria Youth Council, or to contact us, visit www.cvyc.ca. - Chloe 

Chloe is a member of the City of Victoria Youth Council, and our first guest blogger. For more information on the November 15 Municipal Election, including a map of Voting Places, and Candidate Profile Guide, visit victoria.ca/election.