Charles Clymer Video Transcript

CHARLES CLYMER: To be quite honest I'm not sure if I'm going to win this election. I kind of doubt it right now because obviously we have two very big candidates right now with a lot of fundraising capabilities and even more volunteers than I do. But whether or not I win this, I felt if I could get involved that more people my age would get involved.

CLYMER: For those of you who do not know me, my name is Charles Clymer. I've had the pleasure of living in Round Rock for almost four years now. I attend NYOS charter school in Northwest Austin where I will graduate in May 2005. I work at Papa Johns Pizza a few blocks away from here on Main Street . Stop by sometime, I'll give you a discount. (laughter). They say I'm the youngest city council candidate in Round Rock's long history. I'm also the first person to run for city council with a fair amount of acne.

CLYMER: I don't think that running for city council really is an act of bravery, it's an act of civic responsibility. We have the responsibility to make sure people know what we're talking about, to get our opinion out there. And of course it's not a cool thing to do. I would much rather much see movies or hang out with my friends than go to city council, but at the same time, you gotta think in the long term. If I don't go to city council to see what's going on, I won't be able to defend my interests or the interests of those people around me.

CLYMER: I know what's it like to go into a job and earn only six dollars an hour and before taxes, taxes are taken out. You have a small pay check, which you can't really do anything with, and you have to build upon that. After several months, you might be able to afford a nice, maybe half a semester of college. It takes so much work, I know what its like to do that.

CLYMER: A lack of participation in government among teens and young adults is a growing problem in our society, although that does not rest on the theory that my generation is ignorant or careless, but in the fact that some of my peers are turned off by the greed and oppression that politics represents. It is a manipulative line of work, but the things most people miss, is that politics itself can be manipulated. With a high voter turnout or lobbying, just about any group of citizens can mold legislation at the highest levels of government.

CLYMER: If you have less than 20 percent, in a presidential election, voting among 18-29 year olds, that's bad. We saw the lack of participation begin in the 60's. We had a really high turnout in 1960 with John F. Kennedy and Richard Nixon, but from the moment that Vietnam came, and then Kennedy was assassinated, and then Nixon resigned because of the scandal, it just kept dropping off, and dropping off.

CLYMER: It's bad for people not to vote because its your voice. You decide on these candidates, they go to Congress to get us a better life and if we don't have a voice it could be horrible. And I know that's a strong word, but that's how it is.

CLYMER: The main issue on people my age is the upcoming draft. Democrats and Republicans alike are saying there is not going to be a draft, this is going to die before we get to that point. But I believe it is going to come, and when it does come, there is going to be a backlash among people our age against the war.

CLYMER: People have dreams, they want to go to college, they want to be something successful, and they want to accomplish their goals beyond secondary or college, but a war is going to prevent that. The draft is going to prevent that. That's a big issue among people my age.

CLASSMATE: It is inspiring to kind of see someone, you know, its like one of me, you know, I still live with my mom, I have a job too, and all those other things but, he can still do something that normally you don't see a guy doing, my age.

CLASSMATE: It inspires me to have more of an opinion, to say something, and to stand up and to say that, ‘I do have an opinion and it is valid' and to definitely stand up for yourself. To do something about it to.

CLYMER: With 80% of the vote, if we did a youth voter turnout we could overturn any election. I guarantee it. We could influence any election, to our benefit or to the benefit of what is right and good for the country.

CAMPAIGN VOLUNTEER: Yes Ryan, my name is Julie Smith, and I am with Charles Clymer's campaign in Round Rock for the city council race. I was wondering, are you all going to be posting election results on the website? Okay, do you have any information on what those results are now?

CLYMER: I am very nervous, I didn't think I would get this nervous, I really didn't.

CLYMER (On the phone): Thank you very much Donna, I'll talk to you later tonight.

CLYMER: So we got the early vote results. Currently I have 5% of the vote, which is not bad. I'm in third place and its very tight between the top two candidates. They've both asked me for my endorsement over the last hour. I feel optimistic about the results. 5% is a great turnout. Joe Clifford and Jamie Joseph campaigned hard. They've spent thousands of dollars on this campaign, so for myself to get 5% of the early voting is really a success.

CLYMER (On the phone): Hi Christine. Hi, how are you? The unofficial number for the interim results or the final results? Okay. What percentage did everybody else get, just out of curiosity?

CLYMER: It looks like Clifford has effectively won the election.

CAMPAIGN VOLUTEER: Wow, and you got 98 votes. That's fantastic, That's so good! That's very good. (clapping, cheering)

CLYMER'S SISTER: If somebody like Charlie could get in there, and explain what's going on there from my peer's point of view, I think that would really help America to bring in new perspectives. So it would be a totally different world if teenagers voted.