NECC Observer

The student news website of Northern Essex Community College, Haverhill and Lawrence, Mass.

Essex County young adults share their thoughts on local government

In our education system we are taught primarily about how our federal government works, but what about how our local government works?

I spoke with some of the young adults of Essex County to see how much they know about their local governments, what they would like to learn further about, and any questions that they would ask their mayors.

First, I spoke with Mirrorajah Metcalfe, a 19-year-old NECC student. When asked about what she already knows about local government she had this to say, “Honestly, I know next to nothing about local government.” We then talked about how if Metcalfe could speak to her mayor, she would ask him, “What has he changed for the better during his term in office?”

Metcalfe also had said “I would be interested to hear about how the Fire Departments and Police Departments work. They look super interesting in TV shows.”

Next, I spoke with Matheus Batista, an 18-year-old NECC student. When asked about what Batista already knows about Local Government, he had this to say, “Not much honestly. I know there are obviously issues here and there and I’m interested in knowing about how these governments will be able to resolve them.” We then discussed questions he would ask his mayor; Batista’s responses suggested his interest in how a mayor would handle COVID related issues in terms of reopening schools safely.

Batista, when asked about what departments of local government he would be most interested in learning about, replied, “Probably police stations. I’ve noticed that police controversy has been a big issue in this country within the last twelve months, so I’d be interested in seeing how the people of the local police station function within their everyday routine.”

Lastly, I spoke with Jessica Whittemore, a 22-year-old single mother from Amesbury, about her thoughts on local government. When asked what she already knows about local government, Whittemore responded, “I know that there’s a mayor, a City Hall and a Town Council.” When asked about one thing she would ask her local mayor, she responded with, “Why are our taxes being spent on new police cruisers and schooling facilities, rather than other areas deemed necessary?”

Lastly, Whittemore said she would like to learn more about how the Superintendent’s Office works in a local government.

For the most part we see that the young adults of Essex county do not quite understand how their local governments work, but they are vastly interested in the innerworkings of the systems that govern life within a community and are teeming with questions for their elected officials.