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West Dayton Stories is a community-based story-telling project centered on the people and places of Dayton’s vibrant west side. WYSO brings together community producers to tell stories reflecting its proud history, current complexities, and future hopes.

West Dayton Stories: Young Voices

Love'Yah Stewart

Young people are raising their voices in the political debate, and we need to hear them. Community producer Jaylon Yates shares his ideas on the importance of voting, especially locally.

Post-election a lot of people feel a relief that Trump is out of office, but there’s a portion of the population that feels nothing will improve; from being experienced in voter registration I’ve talked to people of all ages who feel the same. I find myself in the middle, a lot of my family members and friends kept asking me, “Are you going to vote?” “Who are you voting for?” Of course I was voting from being raised in a household where voting was an essential. I honestly responded “I don’t know as far as presidential, but for local I’m voting for whoever’s agenda aligns with the west Dayton community.” Normally they’ll say I’m not voting, but I encouraged them to vote local anyways. There’s a generational disconnect, but I honestly feel people are tired of putting faith into a system that hasn't done much for our communities; unless black issues fit white agendas. Even though we’ve seen black electors, I believe the people will soon seek another way to elect leaders. Hopefully in a more conventional way or younger electees.

When it came time to vote I did what I said I would, I voted locally and ignored the presidential. The older I get the more I feel the election process is a propaganda campaign to continue to sway minds in a certain direction. Some older generations would debate the importance of voting, but the younger generation feels it's time for more forward thinking solutions. If it hasn’t worked in our favor, then it must be broken. Reminds me of the industrial age, how that generation until today still hasn’t fully accepted the information age. Some neglect it and stay in old ways but some jumped in and even started to work with younger generations to understand new technology, and advance it. Hopefully voting changes for the better too.

West Dayton Stories is produced by Jocelyn Robinson at the Eichelberger Center for Community Voices and is supported by CityWide Development Corporation.

Jaylon Yates, AKA Smb Jay is a Dayton, Ohio native who introduced himself to the music world with his first mixtape Tune Into Greatness, featuring songs like Paradise, Too Major, and Alize’. Jay got into music after observing his older family member Trailz, also a hip-hop artist. In December of 2016 Jay started his own record label Selfmade Boss Records LLC (SMB), and he later added the acronyms to his stage name.
Jocelyn Robinson is a Yellow Springs, Ohio-based educator, media producer, and radio preservationist. As an educator, Robinson has taught transdisciplinary literature courses incorporating critical cultural theory and her scholarship in self-definition and identity. She also teaches community-based and college-level classes in digital storytelling and narrative journalism.