By GRACE STRATTON.

Sitting down for coffee with the wildly intelligent 22-year-old Auckland mayoral candidate Chlöe Swarbrick, you immediately think one thing:

‘Damn, she makes politics cool.’

Now I personally have an interest in the political world. I love the structure of power and investigating how that effects people. Rare I know, given that most people my age would rather avoid all things P-word like I avoid all things physics.

But if you ask Chlöe why young people should care about politics, she swiftly tells you that politics effects everything in our world, and having a voice – and using that voice – is of optimum importance.

If we can use our voice to spin Kanye’s latest rhyme and defend Taylor Swift in her latest belt against girl drama, then we should use our voice in knowledge, even basic knowledge, about politics. Because politics affects all of our world. It is in everything. (And even pop culture has a power structure that influences us, a structure that is almost political.)

The question now is that, if politics is in everything – pop culture, the school day, transport, housing, university entry – then why do so many young people not care, discuss or advocate in politics?

There are so many possible answers to that question, but the top answer in Chlöe’s mind is that people do not understand how the elections for council work. If you answer the how, perhaps all the reasons why will come out of the woods, without such bad blood (see what I did there).

Chlöe has made a video, which clearly and awesomely lays out to you what the council and the mayor actually does, how the council is structured, and what that structure achieves for you. Simple things like accessible language, pictures and swift videoing technique allow us to pay attention to this video and learn the how.

If we look to the campaign of Chlöe, the blank space that used to be in our brains when it comes to politics and the council becomes full of colour and a wicked sense of achievement, because we finally understand.

To directly quote the video:

“You get a say on who represents you, from your local board, to the councillors of your ward,” [watch the video to find out what a ward is] “to your mayor”

And even if you can’t vote yet, watch the video and spark that awareness in all things P-word now. Because 18 or not, your voice is valued and needed in this world.

The choices made by your mayor will affect you, and by looking to Chlöe for leadership about all things awesome in council, you will learn how it all works and how to use that beautiful, powerful voice of yours.

Read this article to get more of an idea of how council elections work. To learn more about Chlöe’s campaign check out her Facebook page.

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