Parkland Students Hoping to Have Impact on 2018 Elections

From rallies in Utah to meetings on the other side of the world in New Zealand, students from Parkland have been spending part of their summer spreading their message and hoping to impact the 2018 election cycle.

"You know that you're on the right side of history when you're fighting for something like this," said Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School shooting survivor Rebecca Schneid.

Schneid is one of several MSD students who recently traveled to New Zealand to take part in a summit of student leaders, where they addressed gun violence and promoted change.

The Parkland student activists promised that the "March for Our Lives" rallies across the country were just the beginning of their mission. Their goal is to change the way politics work in America and they plan to do it by educating and registering voters.

And it appears to be working.

"We are seeing in Florida, and in other states, that millennials are registering, kids 18 to 24 in particular are registering at a higher rate than they have in the past," said Florida International University political science professor Eduardo Gamarra.

One of the main points of their agenda is to create tougher gun laws, to include a ban on assault-style weapons. Their plan is to elect candidates who favor more gun control.

“Registering is one thing, but voting in a midterm in late August, when school is just starting, that requires a lot more effort,” said University of South Florida professor Susan Macmanus.

According to Macmanus, many of the new potential young voters are registering independent, and trying to find their way in a new American political landscape.

“This is one of the hardest things for the two parties to understand," she said. "Millennials and Gen-Xers, and now this new Hashtag Generation are really down on the traditional two party system."

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