Today, I decided to walk down to Pioneer Square to talk with some other activists about Portland's current condition. All of a sudden, someone stopped me to ask my age. I told him I was fifteen. He then replied, "Well that makes my job incredibly hard, because you have to be 18 to sign this petition." I then asked him what the petition was for. He replied, "It's to help the government sponsor destitution struck children living without a school to go to." I walked away, knowing I couldn't do anything to be able to sign that petition.
The reason I'm writing this article is because this needs to stop now. A petition is an act of power to change something, enforced by the people. I can understand, partially, some of government enforced laws that are ageist, but this defiantly draws the line. How could the youth be denied the right to sign a petition? We can't vote, we have many laws and discrimination against us during protests, and now we cannot even sign a petition. I feel like my voice has been silenced by the government, just because of my age. Am I officially stupid just because I am 15? I don't understand. And why can I not be able to sign something as little as a petition. I thought not being aloud to vote was discrimination, but this by far is the most horrible law against the youth. We now are silenced completely. Why is there laws silencing our voice, when we are just as important as anyone older than us? That I don't understand.
Because of my age, I cannot do anything about this. That is why I'm calling for Indy Medias help to spread this message. Please, can we get these laws erased and stop ageism?
Please, the youth is counting on you.