Wayne Williams: “I understand the importance of youth involvement”

Members of Youth for National Change's Colorado chapter talk to Colorado Secretary of State Wayne Williams in his office Monday. Facing the camera, left to right, are Tay Anderson, Justice Smith and Jabari Lottie.
Members of Youth for National Change’s Colorado chapter talk to Colorado Secretary of State Wayne Williams in his office Monday. Facing the camera, left to right, are Tay Anderson, Justice Smith and Jabari Lottie.

By Keara Brosnan

The Colorado director for Youth for National Change and his fellow high school colleagues met with Colorado’s Secretary of State Wayne Williams Monday to discuss how youth in Denver and Colorado can be more involved in inciting local change.

Director Tay Anderson explained how the organization was started by a group of young activists in Washinton, D.C., and their success has continued to grow.

“There are about 36 states involved now,” Anderson said in a meeting in Williams’ office. “And for us, we want to give youth a voice in our state.”

Colorado’s chapter is newly established as of this month.

Secretary Williams, a firm believer in youth participation, explained his interest in meeting with the group by detailing the story of how he became involved in politics. The Virginia high school he graduated from in 1981 did not have a graduating Class of 1959. That’s because when the school board was ordered to integrate it chose to close the school instead.

Colorado Wayne Williams and members of the Colorado chapter of Youth for National Change. Left to right: Justice Smith, Haley Layshock, Secretary Williams, Lucia Ramirez, Jabari Lottie and Tay Anderson.
Colorado Wayne Williams and members of the Colorado chapter of Youth for National Change. Left to right: Justice Smith, Haley Layshock, Secretary Williams, Lucia Ramirez, Jabari Lottie and Tay Anderson.

That kind of thinking led to economic decline in the town that persisted when he was in high school, he said.

“When I was 17 years old I gathered a group of friends together and we passed out literature to everyone walking into a polling place,” Williams said. “And through that we were able to change the power in my area from one party to my party.  So I understand the importance of youth involvement.”

Williams provided the group with information on how to file as a non-profit and who best to contact in order to effectively achieve the organizations goals at a local and state level.

Youth for National Change hopes to increase youth under 25 awareness, voice and impact on political and legislative issues pertaining to young people.