JACKSON, Miss. (WJTV) – Even though many won’t be able to vote in the May 2nd primaries, Jackson Public School students want their opinions heard.
Dozens attended the first youth mayoral forum at Provine High School, with their own ideas of what will make a good leader for the city.
Candidates were asked questions like this one from a Kenytta Brown, a Lanier High School Junior, “At schools like Clinton, Madison Central and Jackson prep, kids are expected to do better than students at many of our Jackson Public Schools, like Lanier and Wingfield. How can you as mayor help overcome these stereotypes, low expectations, and the unequal opportunity we get?”
The theme of many concerns were entertainment and crime.
“The thing that we run into in Jackson is that we don’t have a lot of things that the youth like to do, or a lot of things to keep us busy. So if these candidates show us that they can bring more things that the youth would like to do, then maybe they are a better candidate,” Maisie Brown, a Jim Hill High School Freshman said.
Some students say they feel like because they can’t vote just yet, their opinions are often overlooked. So, the forum was their moment to express them.
“People don’t think that people of my age or younger can have a say so, or that we think about this stuff. But we really do,” Alauran Allen, a Murrah High School Freshman said.
“A lot of people who are running for office and are involved in politics, like to speak on the youth. But they don’t like to actually get the youth’s input on problems,” Brown said.
When it comes to their everyday issues, one student said she sees a need for more computers; and sidewalks in the neighborhoods, so they can walk to school.
When asked what they are looking for in a candidate, the students said they wanted someone who is dedicated, courageous, innovative, and thinks about the future.
Municipal primary elections are May 2nd. Primary runoff elections are May 16th. The general election is June 6th.