Photo by Chung Chow
The ad read, “Are you energetic, friendly and upbeat and do you enjoy meeting people? If so, we are looking for you!”
So Maya Litchmann applied.
“It’s an opportunity for youth to work at the voting booths, helping people register and helping people get to where they are supposed to be voting,” she said of City of Richmond’s Youth at the Booth program.
The Grade 11 student at J.N. Burnett Secondary has a full schedule: “I am president of the Model UN Club at my school. I coach cheerleading at Panther Cheer Athletics. I am youth chair at Thompson Community Centre.”
She is also involved with student council at Burnett.
“I definitely have a passion for politics. It’s really important for youth to have a voice in our community,” she says.
In a time when the voting age for civic elections is 18, the 16-year-old Lichtmann says, “I felt like participating in the election even though I cannot vote. Youth at the Booth makes me still feel like I am involved in the world of politics.”
The city’s website lists some of the duties of the Youth at the Booth:
• Courteously welcoming all people entering the voting place
• Directing Electors to the appropriate Election Officials
• Distributing stickers to people when they leave
• Informing Electors on where to find Election results online or on the Richmond Election (smart phone app)
• Performing other general tasks throughout the voting place.
Asked about the source of her interest in politics, Lichtmann says, “I think it’s probably rooted from my dad. He was a political science major. The news is on 24/7 in our house. It’s always on. Growing up aware of the world around you is important and is something my parents have always taught me.”
And how does she see our community? “Richmond? I love it. It is the more family version of Vancouver. It has all the great things and plus a really great fit for families.”
Where does Lichtmann see herself in the future?
“I would love to go into politics eventually. But probably I’ll go to university and take an international relations course and yeah, eventually move into politics.”