I had the opportunity to write and record a piece for WNIJ (the local NPR affiliate) and their Perspectives program.  I spoke about the importance of youth engagement.  Give it a listen.

Here is the text:

In today’s world, the ongoing discord in “grown-up” national politics is becoming more pronounced, with an ever-shrinking middle ground and fewer common goals. A fresh point of view can alter the playing field and provide positive change. This is a call to action for all young people to get involved in any capacity.

Winnebago County Chairman Frank Haney, Rockford Mayor Tom McNamara and the Winnebago County Health Department have been working on a Youth Leadership Council. It will bring in students from the area to learn about leadership, public policy, community health and local government. The Council strives to retain the young, diverse leaders we have in the area and educate them about local issues. I was honored to be a part of the inaugural year and look forward to continuing the mission this year as a council member. Come join me.

The Council is looking for high school sophomores and juniors from all public and private high schools in the area as well as any young people involved in youth-focused organizations. This is your chance to get involved like I did. Nominations are being accepted through September 5th through the Winnebago County and City of Rockford websites.

As we, Generation Z, become more involved, changes in our social, economic and political structures will inevitably follow. With the involvement of citizens and leaders of the future, these changes will be more enduring and representative of our electorate. This step has been repeated throughout history and it is time for our generation to take the reins. It is often said that when there are tumultuous times, we need “grownups in the room”. I believe it’s time that we get some youth into that room as well.

I’m Yusuf Zahurullah, and that is my perspective.