Slippery Rock Mayor encourages political literacy

Published by Haley Potter, Author: Haley Potter - Rocket Contributor, Date: October 25, 2018
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Students have started registering and planning for Election Day on Nov. 6 to ensure that they have a say in government.

Students of Slippery Rock University can head home to their towns to vote, or they have the option to vote right here in Slippery Rock for their convenience. Slippery Rock Mayor, Jondavid Longo said that everyone should vote in this and every election.

“It is your duty as a citizen of our great nation to go out and vote,” Longo said.

He also said that many men and women have died to provide the right to vote, so we as citizens should preserve that right. Longo said that there are many people around the world that are not given a voice or a chance to promote changes in government.

“Why so many Americans are not willing to vote is beyond me,” Longo said.

Longo said that many young people do not understand the need to vote, especially in elections that are not presidential.

“Decisions made by lawmakers today will affect us tomorrow, and young people need to realize that,” Longo said.

Longo mentioned that right now in America, there are some who believe in the dismantling of traditional American practices and values.

“Many are calling for us to shift to a socialist or communist society,” Longo said.

Longo said that he does not understand that desire because he does not want us to end up with failed systems similar to Russia, Cuba and Venezuela. Aside from those large government issues and ideals, Longo wants to make it known that local level elections and decisions are just as important.

“These elements are what touch our everyday lives,” Longo said.

He said that these decisions can lead to an increase or decrease in taxes and create a climate that is friendly to businesses or a climate that pushes them away. Longo said that these situations are what made him decide to get involved in politics.

“I was unhappy, as a homeowner, with how much I was paying in property taxes,” he said.

Longo also said that he did not believe that Slippery Rock had adequate representation when it came to promoting the community’s name and interests.

“I saw a town that was unfriendly to businesses and unfriendly to newcomers and decided I wanted to make a change,” Longo said.

Longo said that like himself, he encourages all young people to participate in our democracy. He said that it does not have to be through running for office or taking a big role.

“It all starts with voting and being educated enough to vote with confidence,” Longo said.

Longo also said that it is important for people to stay away from the ballot box if they are unprepared to vote.

“Unfortunately so many are duped into voting for who they are told is the ‘right candidate’ and they never get a chance to think independently,” he said.

He said that to avoid that type of voting, students should read from multiple sources, stay away from sources with too much bias and actually listen to what the candidates have to say.

“Go to a rally or watch them debate, whatever it takes to make an educated decision,” Longo said.

Longo reiterated that voting was never meant to be easy. He said that it is quite difficult because it is the duty and responsibility of all Americans to make this decision to lead our country down the right path.

“The fact that it is hard and a privilege to vote is also what makes it all worthwhile,” Longo said.

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Haley is a senior converged journalism major, and this is her fourth year contributing to the news section of The Rocket. This is her second year as a senior Rocket contributor and she focuses on campus and community news. Haley also contributes to the multimedia section of The Rocket, which goes hand-in-hand with her role as President of WSRU-TV News. After graduation, Haley hopes to continue her passion for reporting and become a broadcast news reporter or Multimedia Journalist at a local news station. Aside from The Rocket and WSRU-TV News, Haley is also a member of the Alpha Epsilon-Rho honor society, National Broadcasting Society, Lambda Pi Eta, and SRU's Project to End Human Trafficking.

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