Aboriginal Youth got an Opportunity to raise their voices yesterday at a forum for Winnipeg North candidates at the Circle of Life Thunderbird House. ‘AYO! presents: PolitiX’ was the inaugural event of an ongoing political education initiative that hopes to educate young people about politics and the importance of voting. Winnipeg North hopefuls Kevin Lameuroux (Liberal incumbent), Rebecca Blaikie (NDP) and John Harvie (Green) all attended the event.Inspired by the exciting civic election and federal by-election in the fall of 2010 the PolitiX idea began with organizer Michael Champagne approaching the candidates for City Councilor and asking a few questions that matter to the young people he works with. Many young people were engaged by seeing local North End residents Judy Wasylycia-Leis and Kevin Chief running for office and were already familiar with their long records supporting our community. In addition, the project was supported in its development by Rocky King and other members of the AYO! Leadership Team and supporters (Go Judy & AK & Riel & Jenna & Creative Expressions & NECRC).
Approximately 25 people attended the 2 hour event that saw 3/5 candidates participate in a North End style Q&A activity with participants called ‘Get Real!’. The youth were provided with forms to jot down their Yes or No questions that they could then pose directly to the candidates. In response, the candidates were only able to hold up their Yes/No signs and their replies had to wait until the end of the question period. Once the young people were finished asking their questions, the candidates were able to rebut with a 10 minute (maximum) response. It was an excellent opportunity for youth to get their questions out and ask the questions that truly matter to them. Admission to the event was free, and an interesting note: invitations for the event were done strictly on Twitter. Ann Matejicka (Conservative) and Frank Kominarski (Communist) were unavailable for tweeting but are also running in the vote set to happen on May 2nd.
The event was organized by members of AYO! (Aboriginal Youth Opportunities) a network of young leaders from the North End trying to make a difference. Their one year Belated Birthday Bash is set to occur Wednesday April 27th 2011 @ 4pm at Thunderbird House. To request more info e-mail us @ firstname.lastname@example.org.
Love & Respect