Replace words with action

Over the last year, we’ve seen protests, marches and demonstrations from a passionate and energetic electorate. Nov. 6 is the day to make those actions truly count.

Demonstrations like the March for Our Lives protest, the Women’s March and DACA protests charged the nation in recent months. However, the ballot box — although a more silent form of engagement — is one of the best ways to transform rallying cries into concrete change.

This election season also brought forth the usual debates over millennial apathy, a label that has plagued young people for years. On Election Day, defy that label. Throw it out. Burn it. These midterms will affect the lives of these “apathetic youths” for generations to come.

With these crucial decisions swiftly approaching, many of the candidates on the ballot can have a direct impact on not just millennials, but specifically University of Idaho students.

Sherri Ybarra, the incumbent superintendent of public instruction, simply has not done enough to improve Idaho schools during her four years in the position. In that time, graduation rates among Idaho high schools has remained stagnant, and the number of high school graduates attending college also remained flat.

Idaho education needs a new voice, a new leader. Cindy Wilson, a former Capital High School teacher, is the leader Idaho students deserve. Endorsed by the leaders of seven Southwest Idaho teacher unions, Wilson deserves the chance to change education for the better, instead of Ybarra, who remains satisfied with the status quo.

Meanwhile, in the State Senate, incumbent Sen. Dan Foreman will attempt to hold his seat over a county he infamously referred to as a “cesspool of liberalism.”

Foreman earned his five seconds of national fame last February after engaging in a rage-filled tirade against UI students, screaming “abortion is murder” in the Capitol halls. His temperament and blatant disrespect for his community and his constituents disqualify him for public office.

UI students should pay attention to the outdated ideologies of Foreman and look to David Nelson for representation.

Nelson has said he wants to vote with education, a sentiment Foreman strongly disagrees with. District 5’s incumbent voted against UI budgets in the Senate, citing the school’s “left-wing, exceedingly liberal agenda.”

The most-watched Idaho contest this season, the gubernatorial race, could have resounding consequences across the Gem State. Democratic candidate Paulette Jordan, while controversial in her own right, has demonstrated that she represents an electorate that more accurately represents all of Idaho. Republican candidate Brad Little, while familiar for those who grew up in the Butch Otter era, represents a time long past.

Little’s conservative politics, his refusal to stand up for Medicaid expansion, demonstrate his understanding of what it means to be an Idahoan no longer applies to the state’s current demographic.

This coming Thursday, don’t just say you’ll find time to vote — make the time to vote. Bring friends. Post a photo with your voting sticker. Encourage those who usually have no interest in voting to finally make a change.

Vote for the candidate that can truly enact that change.

— BH, HS

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