Event Review 6/14 - Arcadia Mayor Pro Tem Paul Cheng Speaks Out on Youth Political Engagement
Members of Civikids went to Arcadia City Council to meet with Mr. Cheng, the Mayor Pro Tem of the city. Everyone took photos with Mr. Cheng, and he gave an insightful introduction speech for the members. In his introduction speech, Mr. Cheng promised to generate a perfect city in the five districts of Arcadia. The foundation of a perfect city, Mr. Cheng insisted, “initiates from a coherent city council”. Mr. Cheng believes that he can bring the community together through solving problems whenever there’s a crisis. In addition, the Mayor Pro Tem indicated that he will help out and resolve every problem addressed by the residents of Arcadia. He advocates that the solutions to hate crimes and COVID-19 begin with recognizing and emphasizing that everyone has a common identity - an American.
After the speech, members of Civikids engaged in an informational conversation with Mr. Cheng, asking various questions regarding participation in politics and the importance of voting. Mr. Cheng believes that everyone should vote and that voting is a right every American person has. He suggested that only when citizens are willing to vote can the council fix the problem. Mr. Cheng, through his experience in the council, shared that there are tons of papers for council members to review, meaning there might be a chance for something to be overlooked. Only when people vote and voice out their opinion can the council not only fix the problem, but with accuracy and efficiency.
We also asked Mr. Cheng whether he thinks enough citizens exercise their voting rights at a local level and what citizens can do to get involved with their local community. The Mayor Pro Tem responded that he thinks more people need to vote because people’s voices need to be heard. There are different problems appearing consistently from various aspects of society which cannot be solved if people are afraid to express their beliefs. In addition, Mr. Cheng stated that the United States needs people’s involvement in both national and local governments to build a better society, a community of freedom, democracy, and justice.
The last question we asked Mr. Cheng was how high schoolers can get involved in local government politics. Mr. Cheng gave a very detailed response saying how “students like you and I have the ability to run for city council and make changes in the city that will bring the community together”. From his response, we can see his passion in wanting young faces in the city council because of the importance of a fresh, current, and up-to-date view on politics. In the end, he informed every student that we are capable of running for city council by simply asking people from home to vote for you and calling every single resident to express your desire in bringing wellness to the community.
Biased speech is prevalent in modern society, one ought to be especially cautious and scrutinize every decision they make. It is essential for one to introspect their mind and voice what they truly demand instead of accommodating the rooted flaws in society.
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