Parkland students will tour US to register voters, demand change
The survivors of the Parkland, Florida, school massacre could be coming to a city near you this summer.
They’ve decided that their efforts, which include organizing school walkouts, converging on the Florida Capitol and staging March For Our Lives events, deserve a wider audience.
“On March 24, we gathered together, we marched, and we demanded a change,” said Jaclyn Corin, Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School senior class president. “But the only way that change is truly going to be enacted is through voting.”
To date, they’ve largely focused on gun control legislation, encouraging young people to vote and holding politicians accountable — specifically, those beholden to gun rights groups.
Now, in an effort to combat low voter turnout, particularly in midterm elections, they’re embarking June 15 on a two-month summer tour. Along the way they plan to call for more action on gun control and stage voter registration drives in 50 cities, spanning 20 states.
They’ll also be visiting every congressional district in their home state of Florida.
Backed by two dozen of his classmates wearing matching “Road to Change” T-shirts, Cameron Kasky told reporters that he and his classmates will be targeting cities where the National Rifle Association holds the most sway with politicians, as well as communities rocked by gun violence.
“We can fix the political system,” said Kasky, who just wrapped his junior year at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School. “We do not have to surrender to dirty, awful politics.”
“We’re dedicating our entire summer because we truly believe that this movement can save lives,” Corin said. “We just want to push voter registration and voter education, especially for November, because that’s where the true change is going to be enacted.”
“We’ve registered over a million young voters in just four months,” Corin continued. “I truly believe that Road to Change can register a million more.”
The tour begins June 15 in Chicago, where the MSDHS students will be joining a peace march led by students from St. Sabina Academy.
David Hogg, one of the school’s most visible student activists, said they want to remind Americans that civic participation is an obligation.
“People have died for your right to vote,” he said. “I don’t care if you’re a Republican. I don’t care if you’re a Democrat. You are an American. Do your duty as a citizen and vote.”