Bryce Hall is the current President of the 16toVote Texas chapter located in North Richland Hills. Read more about what his group is doing here.
One afternoon I was sitting on my couch watching an innocent teenager being detained on the news. His mom and step-dad were extremely abusive and he didn’t want to leave his dad’s house. But by law, he must. So his mom ordered the police to use all force to remove him from the vehicle.
That one clip got me thinking; that teenager should have some rights over himself. Later on, more and more examples started clicking in my head and made me finally realize something. The youth of America and I have no rights whatsoever. We’re all equally looked down upon by the elderly as delinquents and trouble-makers, not as hard-working, young adults. We pay taxes, we’re learning more political information everyday, and we’re being unfairly drafted. For example, the 2016 election, whichever candidate wins has the authority to declare war. I will be 18 in 2 years and so the president can draft me into that war. I had no say in determining whether that candidate was right for office.
I had to do something that would put an effort into stopping this. And that was to vote. Voting does a lot in our lives. It makes all of us proud to be free to choose who would make our lives more successful, and more free. If I had the right to vote, I could vote for whoever was on my side, a candidate that believes in Youth Rights, and understands the troubles in life that we deal with.
In January 2016, I was extremely determined to turn my dream into my goal. I started printing out petitions and getting signature after signature. Many friends believed in my goal and joined in the campaign. This was getting big.
On March 16, 2016, my Vice President and I visited the Capitol Building in Austin. We visited many Representative offices. We even had a meeting with one! It was truly amazing. This was the day I finally admitted, “there’s no turning back”. That was the day we officially started our campaign: Texas Vote16.
That next month, my staff and I were on track with this campaign! We started e-mailing representative after representative, and having more meetings and discussions. We all felt so grateful that there’s some hope that this might actually turn into a reality. Later on, I was surfing the web looking for more resources on this issue and I came across the National Youth Rights Association. I immediately emailed them and explained our campaign. That week I got an email back stating how much support and information they would give our campaign.
Now, my staff and I are taking a huge step forward by hosting a rally! NYRA has been so helpful, and is still our backbone through this campaign. I plan on keeping this campaign growing by the minute, with all the help from my staff, supporters, and NYRA. I have learned so much from this campaign. I already knew not to allow anyone to look down upon me because of my age, but now I have learned to set an example for other young adults who have dreams just like me.