Our view: Anyone want a start in politics?

DKS Editors

There are no students on Kent City Council.

That sentence didn’t surprise anyone, and that’s the problem.

You hate to call somebody old, but Kent’s council members aren’t young. You can see it in their blurry thumbnail images on the city’s Web site.

For a city whose very economic existence relies largely on the influx of 23,000 young college students every fall, its legislative input should be at least a little more representative.

Actually, half the council should be students if population’s our metric. Permanent Kent residents numbered 27,119 in 2007, according the U.S. Census Bureau. And even among permanent residents, 20- to 24-year-olds made up 26 percent of the population, the largest percentage of any age group.

Those are all potential votes in your favor, if you decide to run. But you would have to decide quickly; the primary elections are in May, and a student would need to file to run by 4 p.m. May 4 as an Independent. The deadline for Democrats and Republicans has already passed.

All you need is 68 signatures. That’s less than a typical LER class, where you can find many students who don’t really care about much and would likely sign any petition you put in front of them.

Yeah, it would be hard work. And the terms are four years. It would take a hugely dedicated person willing to make decisions that (arguably) affect people more directly than any other level of government. And it would take a four-year commitment to live in Kent. Any freshmen interested?

We think you could win if you ran a decent campaign. Every student on campus would vote for you if polling places were brought to them, which they practically are. There were several locations on campus for the November elections.

There are three at-large seats on the council up for grabs this year, positions that don’t oversee a specific ward. You just have to finish at least third place in the polls. Third place? That’s nothing. It’s about 1,500 votes, or four big LER classes, if we continue the comparison.

This generation has already shown it can influence elections, and the presidential election was a national one that included places where the median age is as gray as this forum page. This is a local election in a college town where the median age is 23.5 years old.

We’ll even help you with campaign slogans: “This can’t be much harder than USG; vote for me.” “Skip class. Go vote.” “I like Ike.” (Applies only for candidates named Ike.)

The point is, students make up a huge percentage of Kent’s electorate, and as the city tries to draw more students off campus with things like the Phoenix Project, a student voice in city hall should be a reality. Let’s show people we care.

The above editorial is the consensus opinion of the Daily Kent Stater editorial board.