A Seat at the Table

By Celia Viscomi Solet, Blue Future Spring for Progress and Change organizer

Prior to March of 2020, my only interaction with any of my representatives was a pizza party and photo-op with my then-mayor at City Hall, a reward for winning the “Most Comical” prize in our city’s annual Halloween window painting contest. It was crowded,the pizza was not the best, and our discussion, (if you could call it that) certainly did not involve policy priorities.

Blue Future has given me opportunities to hear from and advocate for elected officials and candidates all across the country, including Rep. Jim McGovern, Attorney General Maura Healey, and Senator Ed Markey, all from my home state of Massachusetts. Our smaller statewide group has met with three congressional offices (soon to be more -we’ve all learned the power of following up!) and are working to launch MACYAC (Massachusetts Coalition of Youth Advisory Councils) this coming fall.

Working with Blue Future and the MACYAC team has been an amazing experience, and one that I’m very grateful to be continuing. As the only high schooler in a group of nine, I’m incredibly lucky to have connected with such supportive, kind, and endlessly inspiring team members. I’m so proud of how hard we’ve worked and how far we’ve come in ten short weeks. If you had told me at our initial meeting in February, when we were just introducing ourselves, that by April we’d have laid the groundwork not just for a singular advisory council, but for a statewide coalition connecting Massachusetts youth to our entire congressional delegation, I’m not sure I would have believed it.

As appreciative I am of the offices who have agreed to meet and work with us, one of my most important takeaways from this program is that our representatives work for us. We’re responsible for holding them accountable and making our voices heard, and we deserve a seat at the table. Too often, young people apologize for taking up space, but this space is only ours if we step into it. If not now, when?

About Celia: Celia Viscomi Solet (she/her) is a junior at Newton North High School in Newton, Massachusetts. She’s passionate about voting rights, housing justice, and electing diverse, progressive candidates to all levels of government. Celia spends her free time going on long walks, shuffling Taylor Swift’s discography, and buying new plants to add to her ever-growing collection. She’s so excited to be part of such an amazing team and help Massachusetts youth engage in the political process!

Blue Future is building a diverse youth movement that will inspire, mobilize and invest in young people to organize for a brighter tomorrow.