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23-year-old rep fishes for tomorrow’s leaders

  • Amherst representative Solomon Goldstein-Rose talks to students at the Greenfield Center School about being active in politics. Recorder Staff/Paul Franz

  • Amherst Rep. Solomon Goldstein-Rose talks to students at the Greenfield Center School about being active in politics. Recorder Staff/Paul Franz



Recorder Staff
Friday, January 27, 2017

GREENFIELD — Hoping to inspire youth leadership and activism, Rep. Solomon Goldstein-Rose, D-Amherst, visited Greenfield Center School Friday afternoon.

Speaking before 40 sixth- to eighth-grade students, the 23-year-old representative of the 3rd Hampshire District asked students to “be engaged.”

“If you see a problem in your community, be the one to change it,” he said.

Goldstein-Rose, who replaced retiring state Rep. Ellen Story after the 2016 election, told of his own early activism at age 12 while attending Fort River Elementary School in Amherst.

The school, he said, didn’t have recycling, which inspired him to contact Amherst’s recycling coordinator, supply the school with bins and implement a recycling program. By seventh grade, Goldstein-Rose had also successfully convinced the school bus drivers to stop idling their buses outside the school, being concerned about climate change and student health. Later, he said, Story was able to pass a bill to prevent idling statewide.

“My point is, you can do this,” he said, recommending students also contact their representatives with their ideas for change. “They’re going to pay attention, because young people are not often involved … The more of us that are involved, the more power we can have to get things done.”

Though few of the children admitted to having considered running for office themselves, Goldstein-Rose said he believes the country needs “a new generation of political leaders” and hoped the children might consider leadership roles of their own.

“It’s a wonderful feeling that you have ideas and you’re hearing people’s ideas, and you’re able to move those forward,” he said. “If you care about people’s needs and making the world a better place, it’s the best job you can possibly have.”