The premise of our MTV/Knight Choose or Lose Street Team '08 is that the path to civic participation and becoming a voter is different for everyone, particularly among today's youth. Frequently, young people disconnect the issues that concern them most, from the act of voting - on the premise that their individual vote won't make a difference, or that the news media nor the political candidates NEVER speak about the issues THEY care about most.
The job of each Street Team '08 member is to determine what is important to youth in their states, and get young people engaged in the political process by reporting on those issues all year long, leading up to the national elections. Often, the issues around local elections - whether it be a controversy over rising state school tuition or a local zoning law - are much more likely to awaken youth participation in politics than rhetoric spun by politicians during campaign stops.
You can see all of the reports on www.chooseorlose.com.
But here a sampling of stories where Street Team '08 writers have reported on the local issues of most importance to young people within their state:
CA, Carl Brown, Save Trestles"
IL, Jacqueline Ingles, Wrigley Field -- The Name Change is Striking Out
MI, Nadir Omowale, Loving Detroit, Leaving Detroit, Part I -- Detroit's Daughter
FL, Anthony Wojtkowiak, Margaritaville -- Wasting Away?
SC, Shantel Middleton, Welcome to Whitehall
MS, Haley Crum, Mississippi vs. Katrina -- Still fighting the fight
RI, Tom Shevlin, Sparking a debate on tolerance
PA, Cassidy Hartmann, Public Enemy Heats Up Philly
DE, Stephanie Woods, Bluewater is the New Green
WI, Charlie Berens, Box City: Sleepout '08
ME, Jaime McLeod, Ban the Bulb?