At the age of 13, DJ Horton could not vote or drive a car, but that did not stop him from becoming a prominent voice in the Georgia re-election process.
A high school student and aspiring Gwinnett County politician testified in two court hearings hosted by the provincial legislature this year. This month, Attorney Derrick Jackson, a Democrat from Tyrone, Georgia, quoted him as referring to maps; Horton was again invited by a member of his senate earlier this month to address a committee hearing on the proposed provincial legislature maps.
"On behalf of the new Georgia voters of the future in this province, I urge you - in fact, I urge you to reconsider the drawn maps," he said in that case. “This is not a matter of right or wrong; this is a good or bad thing. ”
Horton is one of many young people who are incorporating and testifying of Georgia's resettlement policy this year, discussing the finals and other courses with special legal moments and incorporating an extraordinary level of youth participation into the mainstream political agenda.
Over the past few years, growing interest in land reform has made people aware of the effects of agriculture and has prompted many provinces to redesign their mapping processes, which has resulted in more young people being involved across the country. New York high school students have created an algorithm for mapping, while North Carolina college students are trying to fight crime that divides their campuses into several states.
Youth voting also went ahead with the 2020 election leading up to the January crisis in Georgia, where Democrats - partially motivated by a minority of voters - were able to help convert two Senate seats in Georgia.
Horton began with the Georgia Youth Justice Coalition, a group of progressive students who have begun training each other on how to participate in the state's re-ban process and to discuss compelling political issues.
Reintegration is a normal political process required to adjust political representation to match the changes in population growth. In Georgia, state legislatures on both sides used the re-enactment to protect the party's interests, mapping it quickly and peacefully. Ten years ago, Republicans controlled the process and approved the proposed maps out of the Legislature a few days after their release. This year, however, legislators have worked to gain a greater number of public opinion and to hold a series of public hearings in the state.
The federation, which the students call the GYJC, has trained at least 70 young people on how to get involved, holding a Zoom training aimed at preparing students. In one of the trainings, group founder Alex Ames taught students everything from how to identify themselves as a member of the community (not to mention political party, talk about volunteerism and what makes your community different), how to shorten your voice (write evidence, make sure it is short) and how to place a compelling argument (provide proof of injury).
Ames, a 19-year-old public policy officer at Georgia Tech University, said the group began working together in 2020, but was officially launched as a GYJC in January with plans to focus on partial voting rights. It called for a state barrier voting bill, the Senate Bill 202, but it began to intensify during the re-election cycle, in part because a large part of the process took place during the summer recess.
“In fact it was much easier to get involved than in the normal legislature. We do not have to skip school to witness. There were many opportunities to get people involved in the community across the country, ”said Ames, who now serves as the group's communications director, in an interview. “That made it much easier for students who had all this frustration with S.B. 202, which sounds like a whisper to some people. ”
He estimates that more than 40 people have spoken out this summer and fallen during the program. In the final case on a Georgia map on Saturday, three of the 13 members of the community testified that they were members of a coalition.
He said they often gather large numbers of students, but their mailing lists reach "thousands."
"At the end of the day, re-branding is a factor," said Julian Fortuna, a 19-year-old student at the University of Georgia and a member of the GYJC who led some of the group's anti-ban efforts. "I wish you as a citizen could make your voice heard."
Fortuna said he believed students were ready to get into the matter because they were facing political problems every day.
"There is no way young people can look away from the political wars of our time," he said. education. ”
Students are progressing - some of whom have joined the telecommunications campaign in President Joe Biden's presidential campaign - and have participated in and advocated for party-to-party affairs, but are urging people to stay out of politics as they engage in recount.
"Gerrymandering is something that happens on both sides of the road, so naming it as a collective issue is my main way 'I try not to do that," said Yana Batra, 17, a high school student who leads tests on how to say it. good news. "The biggest thing we try not to do is give people a language, but about equipping them to share the story they already have."
Now that Georgia's congress and state legislature maps have been approved by the Legislature, some young people are focusing their attention on reconstruction, attending school board meetings and participating in the redevelopment of the district office.