by Alejandro Romero
The first annual Bands & Ballots event took place at Curtis Hixon Park on Saturday September 15. The event was sponsored by March for Our Lives Tampa, and was organized by two high school students.
Alyssa Ackbar, 17, is senior at Robinson High School in South Tampa. “I think the people here obviously having a good time.” said Ackbar
She and Macy McClintock, her co-head organizer, got the idea from one of the fathers of the people on her team. “From then [we] kinda just rolled with it, starting to come up with ideas.” said Ackbar.
Soon after she McClintock got to work. Filing for permits and reacahing out to parkland surivors David Hoggs and Emma Gonzalez who were not available to interviews.
“I think that were kinda changing the stigma by putting on this event that brings music and gun violence—talking about gun violence as well.” said Ackbar.
But that’s not all a booth was available to get anyone registered to vote ahead of the upcoming elections. Apart from that several other vendors were in attendance, including some candidates running for local government.
“We need to go out and show the government that this is what our view are, and the only way to do that was by voting.” said Ackbar.
And she already knows what she plans to do once she turns of legal age. “Once I turn 18-vote, vote…vote and get my life together and vote!”
Alondra Vidal Diaz, a junior Political Science Major, was in attendance in support of gun control and encourage friends to register to vote.
“I’m a very good supporter of gun control, but I think that we deserve more safety.” said Diaz.
She says it sad that nowadays students feel so afraid to go to school because she believes there is not a lot being done by political leaders.
Diaz and here friends before leaving the event wrote on a large piece of paper mounted on a wall, meant to have everyone share what they are voting for.
“I wrote that I’m voting for diversity, I feel like we should all be represented in senate and congress.” said Diaz
Florida’s general elections is Nov. 6.
Alejandro Romero can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org