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Essay By Amanda Kerstman

Rep. Pete Olson

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Mr. Speaker, I am privileged to interact with some of the brightest students in the 22nd Congressional District who serve on my Congressional Youth Advisory Council. I have gained much by listening to the high school students who are the future of this great nation. They provide important insight into the concerns of our younger constituents and hopefully get a better sense of the importance of being an active participant in the political process. Many of the students have written short essays on a variety of topics and I am pleased to share these with my House colleagues.

Amanda Kerstman is a senior at Clear Springs High School in Galveston County, Texas. Her essay topic is: In your opinion, why is it important to be involved in the political process?

As a citizen of the United States of America all citizens are given the right to participate in the political process whether it would be to run for office, or vote in a primary election. Having the power as a citizen to participate in the political process is a right given by the United States, but many people in the present time take this as a chore to participate rather than a privilege. The voter turnout in Houston, Texas has decreased every year because of people not willing to go vote in any election, whether it is for a district judge, or an election for the president. Our constitution was built from people who wanted to shape the new world into a country where people have the right to choose who they want to run their country. It is the citizens responsibility to keep our country a republic and vote for people to represent us. The key to make sure that people will stay politically active is to make sure the youth of the United States stays informed and up to date with what goes on in politics. Once they are informed they have the knowledge to form their own opinion and allow them to take action in supporting a candidate or coming up with their own ideas to run for office one day. Whether a person is inspired to run for local office or for president all helps the political process. Having the Congressional Youth Advisory Council is a great way to get the youth of America involved in political decision-making by letting them able to share their opinion to political leaders. It also allows the youth to be informed on what is going on in congress or in political decision making directly for a political official. Being a part of the political process is very important for American citizens be involved in because if we aren't, we will let down every man that fought for our political freedom.

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