Staunton City Council Members Hoping for Youth Vote

By: Carly Stephenson Email
By: Carly Stephenson Email

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STAUNTON, Va. (WHSV) -- Leaders in one Valley community want neighbors to make their voices heard.

With the Stanton City Council election approaching, there are issues that city residents want addressed.

Trevor Piersol is working on plans for an educational farm at the Virginia School for the Deaf and Blind and plans to register and vote in the May city council election.

"Local politics is forgotten a lot and it's unfortunate because sometimes it's the place where you can have the greatest change," said Piersol.

He and his coworkers have some suggestions for city council candidates.

"More bike paths would be great, more greenways connecting the different parks that that Staunton has, because Staunton has some amazing parks but they're sort of fragmented," said Piersol.

"Chickens should be legal within city limits," said Emily Melvin, who plans to vote.

"Some more low cost, just really healthy, simple options for eating downtown," said Piersol.

Voter turnout is only 10 - 20 percent for a council election.

Council members say the key is to figure out ways to draw in young voters who are less likely to vote.

This May, there are eight candidates running to fill three open city council seats.

Kathleen Stinehart, who owns Cranberry's Grocery & Eatery, said seeing younger candidates is a positive step.

"I think that's exactly what we need in Staunton, is that young intelligent energy, combined with a more experienced council. That is the perfect combination for success in a small city," said Stinehart.

As we get closer to election day, the first thing to do is get registered.

"Really easy and really fast actually. I think I had something in my mailbox like three days later," said Ben Samuelson, who registered.

As candidates prepare for the election, there will be public forums. One is being held at Mary Baldwin College, Monday, March 31, at 7 p.m.


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