Estrella Lopez from Pennsylvania
“Good morning everyone!
“My name is Estrella. I am a member of the CASA youth committee and I am 13 years old. I am an eighth grader at Rowland Academy, here in Harrisburg. Some of you may wonder why I am speaking today if I still cannot vote.
“Many of us here today are here to fight for a better future for our families. Today we are here to ask for justice for my Puerto Rican brothers and sisters, like my dad, who had to leave their island to come to live in Pennsylvania. Today we are here because our immigrant people still do not have protection and our families do not feel safe, like my mom. We are here today because four days ago we had the most important elections of our lives.
“If today I have one thing clear, it is that at this moment the important thing is us. The important thing is to take action, to make our voices heard, to draw courage and to energize our community. This is the only way we are going to achieve real change. This is how we will ensure that our values are represented.
“We have two options: believe in each one of us and believe that YES, WE CAN, or continue to be a victim of a system that creates fear, separation and injustice. This is our option, believe in ourselves, believe that democracy only works when we are part of it.
“That is why I am very proud to say that at thirteen years old I am more than a voter, I am a super voter. I don’t vote once, I get a lot more votes. Every weekend I went out and knocked on doors with CASA in Action, every door we knocked, every conversation we had… all of those are my votes!
“To me, this is the moment, the moment to step into the moment, to take action because there is so much at stake. If we want to see a change in our country for our neighbors, for our community, for our planet, WE HAVE TO BE THAT CHANGE!
“Thank you very much!”