Local lawmakers push protesters to vote

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ROCKFORD, Ill. (WTVO) — Rockford lawmakers say that seeing young people get involved these last few weeks has been a breath of fresh air. However, they’re challenging the younger generation to go one step further to make their voices heard–casting a ballot.

Local leaders are hopeful for the young people in the community who are fighting for racial equality will show up at the polls.

“If you look at the crowds, and if you look at the demonstrations, they are our young generation. Which is fantastic, which is what we’ve been needing for a long time,” explained Ann Thompson-Kelly, (D) 7th Ward.

Alderwoman Thompson-Kelly believes one of the best way for young people to make change is to take advantage of their right to vote.

“What’s going to happen in the future depends on our young population. People like myself that have been around for years, we’re ready to sit down and let the young population take command,” Alderwoman Thompson-Kelly added.

Thompson-Kelly is one of the city council members part of the listening sessions with black community members next week. The League of Women Voters will also be there to help people register to vote.

“Eyes are wide-open on who of our elected officials are taking a stand against racial injustice. I’m hoping that will be a motivator to bring more people to the polls,” Rep. Maurice West, (D) 67th District said.

State representative Maurice West says people should come out to vote even while the president isn’t on the ballot.

“People need to realize that two years from now, when they’re voting for Congress or the governorship, they’re equally as important. Because those are the ones who are making the laws,” Rep. West added. “There’s so much power in their vote. And people need to realize how much power they are holding or withholding if they do not vote.”

Taking part of the 2020 census is also important to help better the city.

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