Arqam Al-Hadeed

Allerton High School 

Votes at 16 (2017 UKYP National Campaign):

As a 16-year-old, I believe that voting age should be lowered to 16. This is because a 16-year-old teen can marry, have children, leave home, pay taxes, work full time, and join the armed forces but cannot vote. Is this what our country calls democracy?  An individual can join the armed forces by signing his life away but can't have say in his own country's decision making. Just because our leaders believe, that we young people, are all not mature and capable of making sensible decisions. This is absolutely ridiculous. We can't let the minority speak for us all. If you can die for your country than surely you should have a right to vote.

Tackling racial and religious discrimination against minority groups:

Racial and religious discrimination is a major issue faced by many young individuals around Leeds and the UK as a whole. Young people of Leeds are aware of this major issue. As they spoke up in the UK’s largest voting consultation for young people called make your mark. In 2016 14,319 young people took part in this campaign by voting. This is where the majority chose tackling racial and religious discrimination as the top issue which they though effected young people in Leeds. To me this alone shows how important it is to solve this major issue.

Free transport for young people:

I believe that as young individuals we should have free access to public transport. And why shouldn't we! 11 to 18 years old youngsters use public transport, the most all around the UK. We use public transport to travel to collages, schools and six forms. Where we learn and develop into young adults, who are the heart of this country’s future. It is absolutely ridiculous that a small thing like transport could be a massive barrier for young people and stop them from reaching out to success. Furthermore, this is a current issue which has been chosen by the young people of Leeds in 2017 “make your mark”, in which 17013 young people voted.

To achieve these goals, I will raise awareness amongst young people about the importance of these issues and the positive impact it could have on youth when these are achieved. Along with this I will contact my local councillors and MPs and request other youngsters to do the same on regular bases. In order to raise awareness for these issues face by the youth.