Calgary’s ‘Mayor for a day’ encouraged conversations between the young and old in Calgary with the hope it leads to more young people in politics.
And a brighter Calgary future.
Suchir Srivastava, a 16-year-old Henry Wise Wood high school student became Calgary’s ‘mayor for a day’ after his essay was selected by the Mayor’s youth council.
Srivastava joked that he’s too young to be a politician but thinks other young people can, and should, be more engaged.
“There’s a lack of younger people with regard to politics,” he said.
“I don’t mean 16-year olds like myself; I mean people in their 20s and 30s.”
He said that the older generation has suffered consequences because of past actions. By working together, we can learn and build a better future.
“It’s important for us to, not focus only on criticizing the older generations for their mistakes, but recognize why those mistakes have been made,” said Srivastava.
Priorities: addressing racism and enhancing Calgary public art
Aside from this, Srivastava had two other priorities that were outlined; addressing systemic racism and enhancing Calgary’s public art scene.
Srivastava said that he hasn’t experienced systemic racism despite him being a person of colour. He does recognizes the importance of talking about it.
“It’s important to recognize that there are people out there who have definitely felt that in Calgary itself,” he said.
“I personally haven’t felt much of that discrimination, but that doesn’t mean it doesn’t exist. We want the kids of our generation to grow up worry-free of being discriminated against.”
Politics are not in the immediate future for the high-school student. He said that maybe 10 years down the line he can see himself holding office.
The mayor’s youth council is a partnership between Youth Central and The City of Calgary. It aims to represent the voice of Calgary’s youth.