Young People Elect to Take Active Roles in Politics

Article excerpt

Byline: Maryam Zarnegar

For many of DuPage County's teens, the 1996 elections will be their first chance to vote. As political posters pop up on every street corner and candidates make guest appearances, the county's youngest voters are taking an active role in the upcoming elections.

The DuPage Young Republicans boasts a 250-person membership, which is the largest in the state.

"Diversity makes the organization interesting and active," said Sarah Adam Axtman, a member of the Young Republicans.

The group meets at 7:30 p.m. on the last Wednesday of every month at Wilton Manor in Wheaton. Its activities include marching with local candidates in parades, painting signs, volunteering for campaigns and fund-raising. They recently played an active role in preparing for presidential candidate Bob Dole's visit to Wheaton.

"An important part of the organization is to give people a place to learn - to see what politics in DuPage is about. The organization should be used as a springboard," Adam Axtman said.

Amy Lewis, 15, a student at Glenbard West High School, has done just that. Lewis' involvement in politics began with the help of her parents and the DuPage Young Republicans.

Aside from helping the political group in its various endeavors, Lewis has taken a personal interest in politics. She participated as a page in the National Federation of Republican Women Convention. She also convinced friends and classmates to post signs and write letters to politicians.

"It's really important to get involved. If you don't like something, you have to get involved. You can't sit at home," Lewis said. …