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“Our vote is our voice. Our vote is our choice.” –Caroline Bennet, daughter of Senator Michael Bennet
There are two elected positions in Young AmeriTowne: Mayor and Judge. And for campers participating in Young AmeriTowne 2 summer camp last week, the election of these two students provided real-world experience in elections, campaigning, and politics.
By Wednesday, students had already participated in a primary election to determine four final candidates for each position. Gavin, who was running for Mayor from the green
group believed he could lead the Towne to economic success. “I plan to keep everyone in mind and to help everyone have fun,” he said. In the purple group, Anni was hoping to be the next AmeriTowne Judge. “My slogan is hardworking, honest, fair,” she said, pointing to a campaign poster she helped create. The AmeriTowne Judge issues the verdict when Towne citizens are caught breaking the law, and Anni pledged to “listen to both sides of the story.”
Gavin, Anni, and the rest of the candidates were fortunate to receive some campaigning tips from a special guest. College student Caroline Bennet is working on her father Michael Bennet’s Presidential campaign and previously helped with his successful campaign for US Senator.
In Young AmeriTowne, Caroline shared what she’s learned from working on her father’s campaign, answered tough questions, and provided inspiration to the crowd of 5th and 6th graders. For example, one student asked what he should include in her campaign speech. “Keep it short, be honest, and include your message,” answered Caroline. When another student asked why there are more politicians who are men than women, Caroline answered, “That’s a really great question. I don’t think there should be!”
Following Caroline’s visit, students began work on their campaigns with her advice in mind. “I think it was really cool that [Caroline] took time out of her day to talk to us,” said Gavin. Anni agreed, and added that Caroline “really helped me with campaigning ideas.”
Caroline helped ignite an excitement and passion that was visible throughout the Towne: in a colorful poster that read, “A vote for me is a vote for equality!”; in a student-produced campaign commercial that sang “My name is Luke G and I’m asking you to vote for me!”; and in the strategy meetings between candidates and their campaign staff. Since the election results weren’t announced until the following afternoon, the excitement lasted throughout the rest of the day.