“I’m fortunate to have worked on 27 political campaigns since fifth grade,” says Devon Lawson-McCourt, currently 15 years old and sophomore class president at McKenzie River Community School in Finn Rock. “At first, I considered myself a Republican and I worked on Trump’s campaign. Afterwards, I moved along, became a moderate Democrat, and now I’m a progressive democratic socialist.” Lawson-McCourt was born in Norman, Oklahoma, then moved to Lowell, Oregon, at age five, after their mom divorced their abusive father. They lived with grandma, who was a foster parent to younger kids, during grade-school years, and helped grandma take care of the kids when mom was at work. “Mom remarried when I was 12 or 13,” Devon reports. “We moved a lot and lived in six different houses. I was a troublemaker in elementary and middle school because of the disruptive home moving.” Lawson-McCord became politically active, volunteering in campaigns for local school board, state representative, Oregon governor and the U.S. Congress. “Recently, I worked as deputy campaign manager for [state House candidate] Jerry Rust,” they explain, “and I was an intern for Doyle Canning in the Democratic primary against Val Hoyle.” Since November of 2022, Lawson-McCourt has petitioned state lawmakers to propose a constitutional amendment to lower the voting age to 16. Eleven state representatives have agreed to support the bill, which had its first hearing on February 21. If it passes through the Legislature, it will be referred to voters as a ballot measure. “I do plan on running for office in the future,” they continue. “I hope to be, plan to be, the opposite of the crooked politician that people think about. I hope to be the next Bernie Sanders.”
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