Blair High Student Creates Voting-Year Stickers To Put Politicians on Notice
Silver Spring teen said she’s made tens of thousands of stickers for March For Our Lives
Example of a sticker design
Via Marlena Tyldesley
Silver Spring high schooler Marlena Tyldesley will be old enough to vote this fall, and she wants lawmakers to know it at a glance.
So, when she heads to D.C. this weekend for the March For Our Lives, she’ll be sporting a sticker labeled “2018.” She hopes her stickers will appear on thousands of other teens in the crowd Saturday, to illustrate that soon, they’ll be a voting force.
“It’s a very simple way to show that we’re coming, and watch out: We’re going to vote,” said Tyldesley, a junior at Montgomery Blair High School.
Tyldesley said she and her family hatched the idea for the stickers while talking about the recent youth movement in support of gun control. She has participated in both of the school walkouts that have drawn thousands of Montgomery County students to D.C. since the Feb. 14 shooting at a high school in Parkland, Florida, that left 17 dead.
With some startup funds courtesy of a family friend, Tyldesley began producing stickers displaying the years that teens of different ages will be eligible to vote. She advertised the stickers on social media and invited people to put in requests for them; within a matter of days, “it blew up,” she said.
We just need to know where to send stickers and how many to send, so retweet, comment schools you want us to send them to and remember - our greatest power is our power to vote! #yearwevote #MarchForOurLives pic.twitter.com/cX84ZKGw7n— Marlena Tyldesley (@MarlenaTylds) March 16, 2018
Already, she’s sent 20,000 stickers to teens across the country, and she’s distributed more to high schoolers in Maryland, she said.
Since she's giving them away for free, she created a GoFundMe page with goal of raising $8,000, enough to print 50,000 stickers.
“We need to hit that if we are not going to be in sticker-debt for this project,” she said in a Wednesday phone interview.
By Thursday afternoon, donors had contributed more than $3,300. Tyldesley said she’ll donate any surplus funds to organizations that are fighting for gun control.
Tyldesley said, in addition to putting politicians on notice, she hopes the stickers encourage teens to make their voices heard at the ballot box when they attain voting age. The demonstrations warning lawmakers are less meaningful if young people aren’t willing to follow through in future elections, she said.
Tyldesley said if teens “say to politicians, ‘You’re going to get kicked out,’ and then actually kick them out” by voting, they can effect change.
“Young people have always led movements throughout American history,” she said.
Bethany Rodgers can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.