During this year’s presidential election, there was a lot of
hype about getting young people involved in the political process.
MTV, Eminem and P. Diddy all made well-publicized pushes to turn
out the youth vote. But when it became clear that young voters
turned out at about the same level they always do, there was a lot
of hand wringing and the usual snide question:
What’s wrong with kids today?
During this year’s presidential election, there was a lot of hype about getting young people involved in the political process. MTV, Eminem and P. Diddy all made well-publicized pushes to turn out the youth vote. But when it became clear that young voters turned out at about the same level they always do, there was a lot of hand wringing and the usual snide question: “What’s wrong with kids today?”
Well, Sonny Flores in Hollister is living proof that not all today’s youths are apathetic and uninterested in politics. He embodies the younger generation that many wish had gone to the polls.
Earlier this month, Flores, 26, ran for a seat on the San Benito County Water District. And against the odds – he was a political newcomer facing stiff competition from Mike Smith, an experienced water utilities supervisor – he won.
Flores should be an inspiration to people his age who can look at him to see what can be achieved through commitment and determination. And he should offer older folks a refreshing view of the political future of the younger generation.
Winning a seat on the water district is a small but significant step in what could become a larger political career, and Flores seems genuinely interested in doing the people’s business.
His new job is a serious one. Hollister is facing a sewer moratorium that has crippled the local economy, and the relationship between the city and the water district have been strained. For the benefit of the community, the two entities are going to have to work well together in the coming months to solve the problem. Being new and young on the water board will be a challenge for Flores.
He needs learn how to manage a water district, which may have the most specialized and arcane rules and regulations of any governmental agency. But Flores, who is blind in one eye and partially blind in the other after surgery to remove a tumor, is used to facing challenges.
“I don’t like to use any of that as excuse for not doing things,” he said.
Flores seems to have a clear idea of what he wants to do in his four years. He is particularly interested in improving the reliability of the water supply for farmers and residents, who, he says, are paying lots of fees but not getting a good return in services.
We hope his determination serves him well and he becomes his own man on the water board, sidestepping political pitfalls and serving his constituents well.
To respond to this editorial or comment on this issue, please send or bring letters to Editor, The Hollister Free Lance, 350 Sixth St., Hollister, Calif. 95023 or e-mail to [email protected]