One City council candidate is getting local youth involved in his election campaign.
Councillor Buck Buchanan, who is looking to serve a second term on council, has appointed 12-year-old Zoe Hicks, a Gr. 7 student at Eastview Middle School, as his social networking campaign manager.
“There’s a lot of buzz and chatter out there about social media and for me, I’m fortunate to answer an email,” said Buchanan, who is a friend of the Hicks family. “I thought Zoe could help and keep people informed on that end of things.
“When I asked Zoe to do this she was over the moon about it, so that was really exciting.”
Hicks has set up a facebook page entitled ‘Re-elect Buck Buchanan’ and is currently researching twitter in hopes of getting him on there as well.
“Buck thought the younger generation was more exposed to social networking and social media,” said Hicks. “So he asked me if I would make him a facebook page. That’s how it started.”
Hicks added she thinks it’s important that Buchanan is networking on social media sites.
“I think it’s important that he’s out there on facebook because most people have facebook and they are on the Internet,” she said. “The younger generation, we can’t vote yet, but we can still be involved. You don’t have to be 18 to be involved in politics. The younger generation is the future of the City, province and country so it’s important for them to know about politics.”
Buchanan said it’s important to him to get youth involved.
“Kids are huge and they’re where it’s at as far as I’m concerned,” he said. “It’s where my heart goes.”
Meanwhile, when she’s older, Hicks said politics is something she could see herself choosing as a career.
“I’m really into City politics,” she said. “I play softball so I want to go to a college for sports and academics but I was thinking I would go into law and then get into politics.”
Hicks said it’s been a good experience being involved in Buchanan’s campaign.
“Buck thinks it’s important to focus on the positive things happening in Red Deer. Of course there are negative things, but it’s not good to dwell on those,” she said. “If I go into the hallway at school thinking that nobody likes me and that I can’t make any friends, I won’t make new friends because I have that negative outlook.
“But if I go into the hallway with an open mind and be friendly to everyone and say hi and have smiles, then I will make friends because I’ll have a positive attitude. Buck has that positive attitude too.”
Hicks said if she was old enough, she would vote for Buchanan to be re-elected to City council.
“I think he has really good ideas and he wants to make Red Deer the best it can be,” she said.