Recently, the United States History 1 classes have been taking on Generation Citizen. One group, coming from Michelle Filer’s period 5 class wanted to spread awareness of their project by including it in the school newspaper.
The class debated between many different topics, before finally choosing the Fair Share Amendment to be the focus of their project. Their other ideas included immigration issues, drug use, and the school schedule.
Freshman Debora De Souza, explains the Fair Share Amendment that if it was passed it “would raise taxes on those who make over [millions of dollars] and put that money into important funds”. Freshman Tenzin Shakya, adds that “the money from it would go towards funds for education and transportation”.
De Souza says that they decided to focus on this amendment because it is “something that concerns all students”, explaining that “everyone has the option to go to college, and whether someone wants to go or not everyone thinks about it because it's so deeply rooted into all high schoolers”.
When asked why they wanted to have this be a part of the newspaper, Shakya says that they “want[ed] to raise awareness [amongst] the upperclassmen, so that they will vote for it when they have the chance”.
Their group has been working on many strategies to get their goal accomplished. Their main strategy is to contact people in higher positions of power and have them as supporters. They have also tried to get into contact with the Malden Observer to try and spread awareness through them as well.
They already have gained support for the amendment to pass from Senator Jason Lewis. He has been a supporter for a while, and voted in a past election for it to be passed. Mayor Gary Christenson has also gotten behind the act, and told De Souza and Shakya that he will support them by posting things on social media, and that he would like to get involved to help contribute to the cause.
De Souza talks about how they recognize that there could be drawbacks if the amendment isn’t passed,but she feels “that people should be willing to take the risk”. Some of the drawbacks that were mentioned could come with the fair share amendment are that it could lead the wealthy to move out of Massachusetts, and that since there is not a lot of trust in the government, people don’t believe that that the money will go directly where it's intended to go.
Despite that De Souza explains that “the outcome would be worth it because [it] has more positives than it does negatives, and it will help a lot because everyone should have the opportunity to go to college, and it would help those who do not have a lot of money”.
De Souza also says that while this might just seem like part of a class, they “will do as much as [they] can while [they] are so focused on it, since it will be reality later on”. Shakya adds that while they might have to lose some focus on it when they finish generation citizen in class, they “can look back on it, and keep working on gaining support for it throughout high school”.
Finally, De Souza urges everyone “to stay informed and educated, and to not think that it doesn't affect you”. Shakya also says that “everyone should stay focused on this because it will be important”.