Young Democrats Club Seeks to Promote Respectful Political Discussion, Encourage Youth Engagement in Politics, and Bridge the Partisan Divide

We are the future of America. We are the future of politics. One day, our generation will be up on Capitol Hill, in the Oval Office, and seated in the Supreme Court. It’s our chance now to make a difference, educate ourselves, and be ready when that day comes. – Peyton Brill, Co-President, Northport High School Young Democrats Club



Peyton and Kate emphasize that all Northport High School students — from across the political spectrum and of all academic interests — are welcome to attend Club meetings.

Peyton Brill, Freelancer

It’s hard to maintain a political opinion in high school. The majority of high school students are not old enough to vote and are often disengaged from current political events; those with political opinions may find it difficult to express these views without peer judgement. Many teens, such as juniors Peyton Brill and Kate Nye, seek a safe place in which they can freely share their beliefs.

Seeking change in their school community, Peyton and Kate, along with art teacher Ms. Billie Westerlind, formed the Northport High School Young Democrats Club. As co-presidents of the Club, Peyton and Kate hope to promote political conversation among Northport students. Club meetings, which start at 4:00 pm on Thursdays, act as a forum in which students can share their thoughts on current local, state, national, and global issues, and meet and confer with other like-minded students.

A typical meeting of the Young Democrats Club begins with a discussion of significant political developments that have occurred since the last meeting. (The 2020 election occupied this portion of the past three meetings.) During this discussion, students voice their general thoughts on the topic and then respond to guided questions.

After the preliminary discussion, the conversation shifts to a topic selected by the Club’s members (club members indicate their preferred topic of discussion through a poll sent out a week before the meeting; the topic that receives the greatest number of votes is discussed at the next meeting). This conversation is held in a similar style to that of the first; more focused guiding questions follow a general discussion of the topic.

Not surprisingly, the Club’s conversation topics are often controversial. To promote a diversity of perspectives, Peyton and Kate encourage each student in attendance to share his or her opinion. As in all political discussions, participants frequently disagree with each other. In order to foster an inclusive and welcoming environment, Peyton and Kate ask that students express their disagreements in a respectful manner.

Through the Club, Peyton and Kate want to emphasize the importance of educating today’s youth. The duo believes that it is imperative that young people think for themselves rather than piggybacking on the opinions of others. Peyton and Kate also hope to bridge the divide between the two political parties. They encourage students to thoroughly evaluate each party’s ideals before jumping to conclusions, and to respect the similarities and differences between the two.

Peyton and Kate emphasize that all Northport High School students — from across the political spectrum and of all academic interests — are welcome to attend Club meetings. To join the Northport High School Young Democrats at their next meeting or receive more information about the club, email Peyton Brill ([email protected]), or follow the Club’s Instagram account (@nptyoungdems).