Nov 07, 2006 — Voting is the most basic activity of democracy, yet in this country half of us don't bother. In young people, between 18 and 25, it's 75 percent. That's not for lack of trying to get out the youth vote. Last election, millions of dollars were spent to get kids to register and vote, but when all was said and done, the percentage stayed the same. Maybe we're waiting too long.
A new project that combines journalism and civics engages kid early - before they're eligible to vote -- and places them in the path of people who take their citizenship seriously. It's called The Face of Democracy, and tenth graders from Johnsburg are one of three pioneering classes in the nation to take it on. Oakland, California, and St. Paul, Minnesota are the other sites. Journalist Sue Halpern is one of the national organizers of The Face of Democracy. She's also training and mentoring the Johnsburg class, along with photographer Woody Widlund. Martha Foley talked with her yesterday, as she was packing up for the big day today.