Bringing a fresh perspective to politics

Scarborough's youth councillors make their voice heard

Being raised by a single mother was a driving force in Khalidha Nasiri’s decision to join the City Youth Council of Toronto (CYCTO).

“A majority of the families who live in poverty in Scarborough are families with a single mom,” the 18-year-old said. “I myself

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know the struggles these people face and aim to make conditions for them better.”

She is one of 10 Scarborough youth councillors and is a representative for Scarborough Centre.

She said one of her favourite things about CYCTO is working with a group of people who share the same vision as she does, especially in regards to getting youth involved with the community.

“Each and every one of them inspires me in their own way,” she said. “Seeing them be so passionate and motivated to make a change truly enlightens me and gives me hope for the future.

Scarborough East representative Rashik Naveed, 16, agreed and added he loves being able to advocate for youth in his community.

“I believe it is important for youth to be involved in politics because as youth, we not only compose a large fraction of the population, but we are also the future leaders of the world,” Naveed said.

Scarborough Southwest representative Zainab Aslam, 21, added that it is important for youth to be involved with politics so they can become informed voters.

“They will have a better idea of where they stand, what they support and believe in and what is better not just for their people and the nation, but for the entire world,” Aslam said.

Naveed said it’s important for youth to reach out to their ward youth representatives.

“This not only allows the growth of future leaders, but also allows issues which are usually ignored, but are integral to a better city for youth, to be addressed,” he said.