Last Friday, September 29, approximately 130 students from high schools across the county attended the first annual Your Voice Matters youth summit. The Board of Elections has been working closely with Cuyahoga County Executive Armond Budish and staff, Cleveland Metropolitan School District, the Cleveland Leadership Center, Cuyahoga Community College (Tri-C), and other partners to host a one-day seminar for young people to learn about the importance of voting and civic engagement.
Students were welcomed by County Executive Armond Budish and Cleveland Mayor Frank Jackson before diving into several workshops designed to help them understand the many ways they can make a difference in their community. While one main focus was on the power of voting, students also learned about their ability to contact their state representatives, school boards, and city/county council members to voice concerns about their communities.
Speakers included State Representative Stephanie Howse, County Councilmembers Shontel Brown, Michael Gallagher and Anthony Hairston, Cleveland City Councilman Kerry McCormack, Judge William Dawson, Cathy Goskey from the Cuyahoga County Board of Elections, Kristen Blazek from Cleveland State Levin College of Urban Affairs, Rachael Collyer of OOC/OSA, and Sandy Kirsh-Jordan of Tri-C.
The youth summit was developed as part of Cuyahoga County Executive’s civic and voter engagement initiative. Overall students were engaged throughout the day, asked the speakers many questions, and showed great enthusiasm for voting.
If your school is interested in attending next year’s summit, please contact Cathy Goskey at firstname.lastname@example.org.