Sage Lalor: Banning plastic bags will happen
I want to live in a town that doesn't sit back and wait for others to act. I want to live in a place that doesn't wait until we are completely sure what's going to happen if we do what's obviously right. I want to live in a place where we live out our values, trusting that we have the support of the community to fall back onto. I want to live in a place where everyone has a voice, and even emerging voters are heard and taken seriously.
We know that banning plastic bags is important, and we know it's inevitable. So why are we waiting?
If something is important enough, we won't let any excuse get in our way: whether it is a potential lawsuit, unknown repercussions, or preferring to pass the buck.
Banning single-use plastic bags will have drawbacks, but if we all know and accept that as a community, I trust that we can come together and figure out how to make this work. Acting on values that our town voices will create a community. If we don't try to resolve issues that are voiced, then we create a town that alienates. Fifth-graders have done so much work, BBA students have done so much work, along with many other community members. If you push this away without giving it any thought, then you will be alienating those entire demographics. But if we are a town that listens to the youth and hears everyone's voice, Manchester will attract. Not only attract young people, but strong, powerful people that will never stop trying to make our town the best place it can be.
We are a new generation who are going to be picking places to live, and you have to start thinking of us differently. We are not going to wait for our values to be put into legislation here while hundreds of other cities and towns across the country have already done so. Those towns had the same questions we have, but what's different is that they weren't afraid of what might happen. This is cutting edge and will have drawbacks, but we can't sit back and watch others go in the right direction without even trying to do it ourselves. If we keep ignoring progressive and innovative ideas that are bound to happen in the future, no one will see themselves staying here to make a living or raise a family. You can trust that most of my generation will back me up on this. We are in the midst of asking for grants, planning projects and rallies, and teaching students how to lobby. I am 18 years old, and a registered Manchester voter.
I am going to college, but after college, I, along with all the other young adults my age, will be choosing a place to live.
Sage Lalor is a senior at Burr and Burton Academy. She read this letter at Manchester's town meeting.
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