Reporter Carlos Aragon also reported to this article.
On Wednesday, January 29th, from six to eight, there was a Civics Event held by the Malden Youth Civics Council. It took place in the Malden High School Art Gallery. It was a meeting about how we [the students] should be more aware of local problems, and that they have a voice in our community as a whole.
The meeting started off with a bingo activity. Based on the council members. Gary Christenson, Adam Weldai, Stephen Winslow, Paul Donato, Steven Ultrino and Jason Lewis. In every bingo box, there was a fact about one of the members. Attendees would have to find which council member matches the fact, and write their name down in the box. Once you got a full row, you were rewarded with donuts and hot chocolate.
After the short fun activity, a slideshow with important questions for the council members appeared. The first question being “how can you introduce yourself, and what is your platform?”
Council member Adam Weldai starts off and briefly introduces who he is. Weldai explains that he just started a new term in January, but previously served in the school committee for four years.
Mayor Gary Christenson added that, “life is going to try and take you in all kinds of different paths, and advises to “just make sure you always get back up to the top and get to where you want to go.” He stated that “it took [him] thirty-two years to finally strive to become mayor when [he] knew [he] wanted too since junior year.”
The meeting then goes on to address the issues happening within the school, and outside of the school. A major topic that had been spoken about were the bathrooms being locked because of the activities going on inside of the bathrooms. The council members brought up ways the students could help change that, and how they would do everything in their power to help alongside.
Paul Donato shares inspiring words, “regardless of what that issue is, [people should stay] involved in the community.” Encouraging the audience that “there may be people doing these things, but you can do it better.” Adding that “mistakes and become even more successful in the future.”
The head of the Malden Youth Civics Council, Lana Giha shared that she thinks this event was very necessary, in regards to the youth for being educated and to be aware of what is going on in the world. Especially in their city. This event took about two months to prepare. The students tried to get advertisements, they posted on social media, they talked with the senators about getting a budget in terms of the cost of the event, and the obvious, preparing the slideshow and questions. Giha said that she “thinks the event was a success,” considering the number of students who showed up.”
Alain Joseph, a member of the club, said that when planning the event, the process went smoothly for the most part. The roadblocks were “mostly emailing representatives.” There were some “team problems” however the process overall went according to plan.
Joseph spoke about the decision to switch from an Ice Cream Social to a Hot Chocolate Social. He stated that he felt like “doing an ice cream social in the middle of the winter is a very stupid idea.”
Currently, the Civics Council is attempting to install more bike racks around the school. If you’d like to join the club, they meet Thursdays at 6:00 PM at the library.