Publisher’s Note: According to a 2015 report from Stateline and NCSL, the average age for a New Hampshire State legislator was 66â€”the highest in the countryâ€”while the average age in the state was 48. Data from the report also reveals that although millennials made up approximately 26% of New Hampshireâ€™s 2015 population, they comprised only 1% of the state legislature.Â
I had the opportunity to witness a State House Session last Thursday in Concord. Not going to lie, it is a pretty interesting event. I proceeded to find a seat in the Visitor’s Gallery. You get a powerful panoramic view of the Speaker pulpit and the members of the leadership for both parties.
Suddenly, I decided to look down and a wave of white hair from older State Representatives hit me, it was noticeable. I tried to find young Representatives, that look like me! By young I mean less than 35 years old. I counted 4 and to be honest they might be older than that. Then I thought why are college students or younger than 35 years old Granite staters not running for office? The answer is clear.
The system is not designed for young people to run for office. $200 a term? Who is paying for my rent? My gas? College expenses? It is hard.
Young Granite Staters need representation urgently. We have retirees walking all over our education. We have seniors, most likely not having more children passing legislation telling young women what to do with an unborn child.
Those halls are full of titles but empty of purpose. If you are young, ignore my feelings and run for office. It will be a sacrifice, believe me, but worth your efforts. We need urgent representation, otherwise, nothing will be left to fight for.
Cover Photo: The Chamber of the New Hampshire House of Representatives. (Credit: Wikimedia Commons)
Publisher’s Note: Fuentes’ letter to the editor was first published by the Union Leader.
Hispanics-Latinos are the largest minority population in New Hampshire with 59,500 residents or 4.3 percent of the population, according to the University of NH.
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Sebastian Fuentes is vice-chair of the New Hampshire Democratic Latino Caucus. Fuentes is an advocate for immigrant rights in the State of New Hampshire. He has spoken at multiple rallies, conferences, and panel discussions in order to raise awareness about the struggle of the Hispanic-Latino community in New Hampshire.