The latest mid-term elections were big news in a lot of ways. More women, and women of color—and younger women!—were winning elections all over the country.
Cassandra Levesque was one of them. At 19, and an online student at Southern New Hampshire University, she is the youngest Democrat in the New Hampshire state House of Representatives. Up until she was elected, the average age of the New Hampshire state legislature was 66 years old; it’s hard to make laws that benefit young people if they aren’t represented. And now, the number of state representatives under the age of 40 has doubled!
Levesque is not new to politics and agitating for change. At 17, she led a campaign to end child marriage in New Hampshire that was initially dismissed by a state legislator who said it would be absurd to raise the age of marriage from 13 (!!!) because “of a request from a minor doing a Girl Scout project.” This past summer, the state of New Hampshire raised the age of marriage to 16.
“They have had some trouble trying to get into the mindset of generations after them — it’s a totally different time than when they were my age. Having someone new to help them see different perspective will definitely help.” — Cassandra Levesque.
Cassandra Levesque still serves as a Girl Scout leader, while studying and now working full time for the people who elected her. She plans to refocus the legislature on bills that benefit the state’s young people, like making college more affordable and encouraging students to stay in the state and build up the economy after graduating.