Young Republicans hope the state Republican convention, to be held in Juneau this year for the first time in almost two decades, will help the organization "put the rubber to the road," said Juneau Young Republican Nick Henderson.
Henderson has been working on re-starting the group, inactive for a number of years. The convention is to be held in Juneau in April.
"The goals of the organization are relatively clear - support and promote strong conservative ideals in our state and federal governments," Henderson said. "We represent a very crucial point in a voter life cycle."
Henderson said getting young people involved in politics in Juneau is a multi-faceted issue.
"Much like anywhere in the country, more and more young people are becoming detached from politics. An unfortunate "I'm just one person; my vote won't change anything" mentality is all too common in youth," he said. "In Juneau we see that, plus we have the added issue of a high attrition rate of youth. Kids from Juneau travel farther to school after high school than kids from towns down south."
Because of Juneau's distance from the Lower 48, Juneau youth "tend to detach pretty completely while they are gone," he said.
Capital City Republicans co-chair Ben Brown said the 90-day session has had an adverse effect on the Young Republicans, as many members are or were legislative aides, in Juneau only during the session.
"We've always had young people who are Republicans here in Juneau," Brown said. "Because we're a capital city, the greatest period of activity is during the session. But there's no reason why we can't get young Republicans more involved on a regular basis."
Henderson also added that Juneau has very strong advantages for those that do get involved in politics here.
"Our level of political accessibility is unprecedented, at all levels even up to the governor," he said. "If there is a city in America where we can reverse the 'I don't really count' trend, it would be Juneau."
Contact reporter Mary Catharine Martin at 523-2276 or firstname.lastname@example.org.
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