5 Takeaways from Blue Future’s Spring for Progress and Change Program
By Camille Serrano, Blue Future Spring for Progress and Change organizer
- Connecting with my Community: Prior to Blue Future, I had no idea that Youth Advisory Councils exist. Being able to co-create a youth advisory council with Blue Future was an excellent experience. I became more aware of my local government and regional barriers that disrupt clear communication between legislators and their constituents. Being part of the creative process of producing a youth advisory council allowed me to expand my network to be localized with other activists in California and the greater Los Angeles area.
- Skills I Learned: As I am preparing to start law school this fall, my time with Blue Future has been extremely valuable and will help me on my next path. As a student organizer, I have developed skills in digital canvassing, state organizing, and campaign outreach. For young change-makers, these are great skills to have so that the fight doesn’t stop, because it never stops. But nobody is doing it alone; we are in this together.
- Passion for the Work: Doing advocacy work with Blue Future amidst a global pandemic makes the work we do even more impactful. Realizing that not even a pandemic can haunt our commitment to democracy is extremely telling to the degree of passion everyone in the organization shares in the fight for social justice.
- Equity and Inclusion: With the identity markers as a queer, gender-fluid person of color, I am a strong believer in inclusion and equity. To be frank, our policy-makers are NOT inclusive of the trans community, people of color, individuals with disabilities, the houseless community, and youth. My background in gender studies couples with my parents’ immigration experiences propel my intersectional perspective on social issues. I chose to organize with Blue Future because I want to work with the change-makers of tomorrow. Having it be a youth-led political action catalyst makes the organization so special.
- Own Your Seat: The two biggest takeaways I got from the Issue Advocacy Program and trainings were to advocate for young people to get paid for their work and that you are never too young to run for city council. It is inspiring to share space with change-makers that look like me! It is important for young people to own their seat at the decision-making table because ageism works against youth in politics. Just because we are not “adults,” even though we have the maturity of one, our voices are silenced and decisions are made on behalf of us. Owning our seat at the table is a statement for all policy-makers that the voices of youth have mattered, do matter, and will always matter!
About Camille: With the identity markers as a queer, gender-fluid person of color, Camille is a strong believer in inclusion and equity. As a recent graduate from UCLA, Camille’s background in gender studies coupled with their family’s immigration experiences propel their intersectional perspective on social issues. Hoping to facilitate more productive conversation centered around difference, Camille is ecstatic to add momentum to APIA campaigns and initiatives across the country.