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Want fresh leadership? Then elect Bumgardner.

Young people are the future, we hear, leading politicians to relentlessly encourage us to become involved and bring our ideas to the table. I recall volunteering for the Groton Democrats during the 2019 municipal election and hearing from these leaders, Mayor Hedrick included, about the importance of youth activism. I felt inspired, as they led me to believe that young peoples’ voices are valued.

However, it appears that youth involvement means little to them when young people, like Aundré Bumgardner, challenge their authority.

Bumgardner has been accused of being too inexperienced to be mayor. This claim stems from Aundré’s youth, an assertion that aims to paint young people as naïve and unqualified. This argument is designed to discredit us, allowing the status-quo to maintain power.

I cannot comprehend how Hedrick exemplifies leadership when, during the June Groton Black Lives Matter March, I witnessed his inability to unite a frustrated community over racial justice. While I do think Hedrick means well, how can young people, like me, not expose the hypocrisy and ask: are we just an electorate that you preach to when it is convenient? Let’s stop pushing this facade that young people are incapable of leading and let's focus on the issues.

Kyle Thaxton




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