Local politicians address Austintown students

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Neighbors | Jessica Harker.Trustee Ken Carano addressed students at Austintown Fitch High School on Nov. 19.

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Neighbors | Jessica Harker.Representative Tim Ryan spoke to juniors and seniors at Austintown High School on Nov. 19 in the school's auditorium.

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Neighbors | Jessica Harker.Juniors and seniors at Austintown Fitch High School gathered in the schools auditorium on Nov. 19 to speak to local politicians.

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Neighbors | Jessica Harker.Representative Tim Ryan listened to Trustee Ken Carano speak during Austintown Fitch High School's first political assembly on Nov. 19.

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Neighbors | Jessica Harker.Trustee Ken Carano spoke to Austintown Fitch Juniors and Seniors Nov. 19 for the schools first political assembly.

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Neighbors | Jessica Harker.Speakers Ken Carano and Representative Tim Ryan traveled to Austintown Fitch High School Nov. 19 to speak with upper classman.

By JESSICA HARKER

jharker@vindy.com

Austintown juniors and seniors were treated to the school’s first civics assembly on Nov. 20 at Austintown Fitch High School.

Trustee Ken Carano and Representative Tim Ryan spoke to students about civic engagement and responsibility in today’s political climate.

Senior Kyle Anderson organized the assembly for his senior service project.

“I was disappointed with the lack of political understanding from my fellow students, so I wanted to organize something that helped to fix that problem,” Anderson said.

Anderson is a member of the school’s speech and debate team in US extemporaneous speaking and said his goal was to go to college next year majoring in political science.

It was these interests that Anderson said inspired him to organize the assembly.

“I was very grateful for all of the help I received from Austintown’s government teachers who has a big part of assisting me in organizing this event,” Anderson said.

Carano kicked off the event, talking to students about the importance of voting and what politics actually means.

“Congressman Ryan and I are just male adults in this country who were dumb enough to run for office,” Carano said.

Carano was a former Austintown teacher and head coach of the schools speech and debate team.

He talked about how Austintown has changed over the years and how these changes have been fueled in part by the political realm.

“Politics is my life,” Carano said. “Get out and vote, because its the power of the vote that has the ability to change things.”

After Carano, Ryan took to the microphone.

He talked to students about their ability to change their political future through the use of collective action.

“The problem of your generation is to figure out how to collectively act to solve the biggest problems of your time,” Ryan said.

He addressed issues like climate change, health care and other major divisive issues the country is facing today.

Ryan also discussed the need to be informed, and to not passively consume opinions expressed by others or the media.

“If you’re going to be an informed voter you need to understand that people are trying to advertise to you,” Ryan said.

He closed his speech by emphasizing the need for every citizen to get to know themselves, and to think introspectively about their opinions.

“Know thy self, and that means every day take the time to think about what you believe, and why you think like that,” Ryan said.

After both speeches teachers collected student questions for both the speakers, that Anderson read.

Students asked questions about LGBT rights, the future of politics and whether Ryan planned to run for the speaker of the house.

“I was very impressed with the questions my fellow students came up with for the guests,” Anderson said. “They seemed to really listen to what they had to say.”

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