Thursday, May 19, 2016

17-year old plans to run for State Assembly seat

Cedarburg teen David Pelikan provides positive indications that younger generations will be more engaged in political matters

Who says the kids aren’t all right?

David Pelikan (image via WKOW)
A 17-year old in Cedarburg is running for political office. Though state law requires him to be 18 to collect signatures to get on the ballot -- heck, he won’t even be able to vote for himself in November -- independent candidate for office David Pelikan is undeterred.

"If I, as a 17 year-old, can run and maybe become a human interest story and get people excited about these local elections, to get people to evaluate their vote, then I'll have achieved something," he said recently.

Though he won’t be able to vote in November, Pelikan will be legally old enough to serve in the Assembly if he is elected. His birthday is in December, and state law says anyone over the age of 18 can serve in the legislature, which inaugurates new members in January.

According to his press release, Pelikan is running on a platform of bipartisanship. He is fiscally conservative, but leans progressive on matters of “educational reform, environmental protection and energy development.”

I’m not certain yet if his is a candidacy I can fully endorse. As a full-fledged progressive, his conservative side gives me pause. I’d need to know more about the candidate, and what specifics he stands for before I can say to others in the area, “Hey, vote for Pelikan!”

But one thing I am certain of is that his age shouldn’t be an issue. Pelikan demonstrates an effective understanding of how politics works, and his candidacy is a positive sign of youth engagement in the younger Millennial and burgeoning Generation Z populations.

We need more young people like Pelikan, not less, who are willing to step up to the plate and serve their state and local communities.

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