A survivor of a 2018 Florida school shooting encouraged students in Portland Tuesday to engage in the political process and make their voices hear at the state and local levels.
David Hogg, who co-founded the national group March For Our Lives following the shooting at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School last February, met with roughly 50 students and community members inside Casco Bay High School.
Hogg encouraged the students to engage with other organizations and get other young people involved in the political process, adding that young people will have a large say in upcoming elections in the state.
"I'll tell you right now, do you know what politicians are afraid of? Young people. Young people knowing about civics. They're afraid of you weaponizing your education in a non-violent manner, for peace," Hogg said.
The activist encouraged the students to vote, knock on doors and help to elect young people to local office.
Earlier in the day, Hogg and several students visited the State House to lobby lawmakers to pass bills that advocates say would curb gun violence, including a controversial, so-called "red flag" bill, which would allow police or family members to petition to remove guns temporarily from people who could be potentially dangerous.
While much of Hogg's message focused on gun control policy, he also said that the students needed to engage candidates about other issues, including immigration and the justice system.
"I'm just saying, broaden your mind to what gun violence actually looks like. Because it's a hell of a lot more than just school shootings," Hogg said. "It's a whole system of oppression that we go through on a daily basis. That can only be resolved with us beginning to vote."
Originally published June 5, 2019.