The Tiger Bay Club welcomed Young Democrats and Young Republicans into the den for the Next Generation debate on national and local topics Tuesday morning at Michael’s on East.
Tiger Bay Club Board Member, Morgan Bentley moderated the panel of speakers that included four representatives from Young Democrats and Young Republican clubs. Speakers Kate Magill, Zach Morrison, Ben Doherty and Kelly Dowd fielded questions about party policies, presidential candidates and local voter turnout.
The topic of how to encourage younger voters to come out to the polls came up with more than 30,000 registered voters between the ages of 18 to 29 in Sarasota County.
Representing the Democrat view, Morrison suggest that to start the conversation needs to change in schools.
“One thing is we don’t teach enough civics in school, we don’t talk about the importance of voting at all really,” Morrison said. “That’s a huge shame.
I don’t think there is enough emphasis on what government does that’s good. A lot of people don’t believe that the government is a good industry to go into.”
For the Young Republicans, Dowd and Doherty spoke on the issue. Dowd said that the key is to generate enthusiasm on topics that affect the lives of younger voters.
“The question is how to get young people in general to vote; it doesn’t matter if they’re young Republicans or young Democrats,” Dowd said. “As people get older the trends change and they end up voting. They start to realize that government affects them and they want to be a part of it.”