City News
Why your vote counts
Cristian Dubon Solis
Today, there are too many things to keep track of in our daily lives. Between family issues, schoolwork and possibly a job, there’s a lot going on. Within the chaos, one particular topic is often forgotten: local politics, such as the recent Boston City Council election.
In general, younger voters are less likely to vote in elections and be involved in local politics. Why does this matter? The youth are the future and they should have more of a role in local elections because the laws made by the Council will affect them for years to come. An ordinance that decreases education funding, or an ordinance that raises the age for someone to work, all directly affect young people. Since young people make up 13% of the population in America, their voice should be just as loud and strong in politics as other age groups.
Aya Nakkachi, a senior at John D. O’Bryant High, who volunteered in the recent Boston City Council Election, said of young people in politics: “I hope that people vote, it doesn’t matter who, just vote!”  
In Boston, it is evident by the voter turnout each year that many people see local election day as “business as usual”. In the recent general Boston City Councilor election, only 17% of the voting population turned out, reported The Daily Free Press. 
Low voter turnout reflects the public’s lack of awareness and care for local politics, which is a massive obstacle if we want to make our city a better place. 
Paul Pitts-Dilley, a history teacher at O’Bryant, says that our generation needs to be active and unafraid of making people upset. “If you want to create change, you have to demand change. Otherwise, people are just going to take pictures with you [the youth]...without really engaging with the youth,” he said.  
We should care about the system because it currently doesn’t serve everyone the best it can. There are many problems within Boston that affect many people, such as gentrification and a lack of affordable housing. The youth of today can make changes that solve these problems tomorrow.
Bridget Ryan, an AP government teacher also at O’Bryant, says there are many ways kids can be involved in politics. “Voting is being involved in politics — whether you’re volunteering, writing about it, you could blog about it, post on social media about it. You don’t have to be a huge advocate and be involved in protest and marches to feel you’re involved politically,” she said.
Anything someone can do to get people discussing certain issues counts as being involved. You don’t have to be a full-time volunteer. Write a post on Instagram (or Facebook if you still use it), or have conversations on current topics with friends.
Nakkachi said that her experience volunteering for Michelle Wu and Alejandra St. Guillen truly opened her eyes to how youth currently participate in politics. She wishes people could, “Educate themselves and go out and vote... It’s a fundamental basic right that everyone should use.”
The youth of Boston need to rise up and show that they care about what’s going on in politics. It’s our lives and our future, so why shouldn’t it be our government? As Nakkachi said, and as the recent extremely close election demonstrated, “Every vote matters.”
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Cultural Criticism
What's not cooking: 4 food service careers you didn't know existed
Courtesy of Madison Beehler
When it comes to careers in the food industry, common options are to become a chef or a food influencer on social media. Some people might become a chef so they can cook delicious food for themselves and not have to eat their auntie’s greasy burgers or spaghetti. However, what other types of careers are there within the food industry? While becoming a chef is an obvious option, many people seem to forget that there are other career paths in this field. If you love food and want to make a job out of it, you can also consider any of these options: 
Restaurant owner
A restaurant owner operates a business that cooks and sells food for a profit. They have employees who work as cooks, waiters, bussers or cashiers. As an owner, they are responsible for making sure that the cost of running the restaurant is balanced, they double-check the quality of the food and also help with the day-to-day tasks. On a busy day, the owner might encounter different guests with various food requests and needs to get their meals ready in a timely manner. According to the Houston Chronicle, a restaurant owner has an average income of around $60,000.
Taste tester
A taste tester is someone who tastes a variety of foods to observe the texture, smell and quality of the ingredients. They often taste products before they are put in the market and sample foods to review them. On a daily basis, a taste tester would sample food and give feedback to the producer. According to Payscale, the average income for a taste tester is about $60,000.
Farmer
A farmer has many jobs including maintaining crops, stacking hay and even tending to animals. They grow, care for and sell their produce to supermarkets and restaurants. When local restaurants are looking for the freshest fruits and vegetables they can turn to their local farmer to get high-quality ingredients. According to the Houston Chronicle, the average pay is $76,000.
Food scientist
A food scientist studies and observes food in a lab to see if it’s safe to consume. A typical day would consist of testing food, ingredients, and chemicals to see if they are safe to consume, or if they are government-approved. They also break down foods and test them sometimes adding chemicals to the product or produce. According to Glassdoor, the yearly income for a food scientist is about $68,000.
The food industry is like the sea, there is so much to explore and find, so consider these fun and interesting jobs in the field! 
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Cover Story
With Title VII undecided, queer rights hang in the balance
When it comes to federal case law, LGBTQ+ people have a lot of rights. Statutory law — or the laws made by Congress — are where things get a little foggy. One of the responsibilities of federal courts is to interpret what Congress intended when they wrote a specific law. This should be fairly easy because all you’re doing is reading, right? Wrong. LGBTQ+ individuals fall into a gray category when it comes to whether they have protection under some of these laws, which has caused some trouble recently.
Obergefell v. Hodges was arguably one of the most important cases in the LGBTQ+ rights movement. It was one of the cases that gave LGBTQ+ couples and loved ones hope when it legalized same-sex marriage nationwide in 2015. A battle started far before with a freedom of speech case, One Inc v. Olesen, which in 1958 decided that writing celebrating gay relationships isn’t automatically obscene. There has been significant headway made in the last decades.
Title VII of the Civil Rights Act prohibits employment discrimination based on race, color, religion, sex and national origin. On October 8, 2019, The Supreme Court heard three cases of LGBTQ+ discrimination, and will now have to determine if sexual orientation and gender identity fall within the walls of Title VII. These recent cases that have arrived within the grasp of The Supreme Court have brought up many questions that I have the hopes of answering in this interview.
I sat down with Michael J. Lambert, an attorney specializing in Media and First Amendment law at Prince Lobel to see how being part of the LGBTQ+ community contributes to his thoughts on these cases.
Before he answered the heavy questions, I needed to know something equally as important. Why should he answer these questions?
Nathan DeJesus: What is your background?
Michael Lambert: I studied journalism in Louisiana. And then I went to law school. And now I represent journalists for a living. So I don't necessarily work in the LGBTQ+ rights or civil rights area. But as a gay person, I follow these cases, and I'm a lawyer, so I have some [amount of] knowledge about it. And I do First Amendment work. So that's civil rights. In a way, it is civil rights.
Why will these cases be important justices-wise?
Justice Kennedy isn't there anymore. And he has historically written the opinions for the gay rights cases. Justice Gorsuch is big on textualism. And textualism is what I referred to before, in which when a court is asked to interpret a statute, you look to the text of the statute, and the text of the statute should be the prevailing interest. So if that theory holds and the justices interpret the Civil Rights Act, Title VII of the Civil Rights Act that way, I'm inclined to think that the court will rule that Title VII does cover LGBTQ+ individuals.
Do you think that whether they rule in favor of the employee or employer there is going to be a ripple effect?
Unfortunately, right now, LGBTQ+ Americans don't have protections under the Civil Rights Act in the employment setting. So if the court decided that that Title VII does not cover LGBTQ+ individuals, then they wouldn't have those rights that others do within the workforce. But I think it also would send a signal to the country that LGBTQ+ rights are not respected. And are not equal. So beyond just settling this particular case in which the question is, does Title VII of the Civil Rights Act cover LGBTQ+ individuals? It kind of sends a signal to the country that we're not treating LGBTQ+ rights the same as we are other civil rights. And I think that would be a shame. If the court rules that Title VII does cover LGBTQ+ individuals, it validates the identities of so many people, even though you shouldn't have to rely on nine people in Washington to validate your identity. And it would send a signal to employers that you can't discriminate. You can't discriminate against somebody because of the sex of the person that they love, or the gender that they identify with. It would certainly send that signal and it would give LGBTQ+ people remedies against employers if they were discriminated against, and because of, who they are.
At the end of the day, this is an interpretation of the statute. The Supreme Court’s ruling may have some pretty small or pretty big effects on how the U.S. will treat queer people in the future. Lambert seems optimistic that the ruling will be in favor of the employees. The results of the cases are set to be announced in June of 2020.
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Cultural Criticism
What am I supposed to look like?
Kamila Civilus
I’ve been “misraced,” or assumed to be an ethnicity I am not, a bunch of times. My thought process after being asked is, “why do they want to know?” It’s a weird and simple question. 
A lot of people go out of their way to ask, and I know it is curiosity that drives them, especially with strangers. But, I do get weirded out when that’s the first thing a stranger asks me when they are unsure or want to confirm their assumption. Then, they have the nerve to say, “Well you don’t look like it,” when I answer. I just smile, well, at least I force myself to. I also have many black friends, not mixed with anything, that are asked if they are mixed, and they roll their eyes when they tell me that they were asked. 
What do you say to that? My dad would sarcastically ask, “Well what am I supposed to look like?” He wants the person to genuinely consider that statement because it can potentially be offensive. I don’t want someone to tell me I don’t look like what I am. That’s why it’s easier to nod and say nothing. But, should I still do that? I want to let people know that hearing that is irritating and hurtful. I already stick out at family gatherings because I am the only mixed person in my dad’s family. I am not as dark as my cousins, but they don’t care, so why should a stranger?
“For me, my identity has caused a lot of arguments and pain in my life,” Andromeda Turre wrote in The Huffington Post. “So I might not want to answer ‘What are you?’ because I might be apprehensive as to how you, a total stranger, is going to judge me and possibly react to the choice of identity that took me years to accept and understand.” I was interested in her article just from the title, “PSA: ‘What are you?’ Is Not an Icebreaker” because it already felt like I could relate to her. People are either amazed or say “you don’t look like it.” So … what is the ethnicity I am mixed with supposed to look like? 
A few years ago, someone telling me that I don’t look Haitian, would bring me back to the place of insecurity I was in when I was younger, based on not feeling enough or not fulfilling the norm of being Haitian. I love both of my cultures — being Haitian and Mexican is awesome. People are surprised every time I tell them and the positive reactions uplift me every time.
Identity is one of the most important things someone can know about themselves. What do you think when someone asks you, “Who are you?” In reality, you would just say some basic facts. But really, who are you? It’s a question that trips people up. 
 You can identify yourself in many ways. Culture, nationality, personality, ethnicity, morals and much more. The whole assuming and asking what people are thing, has to stop. There are better ways to ask and approach the topic.
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School News
Not all heroes wear capes: how you can stop bullying
Do you know how to stop bullying? What to do or say? According to the website stopbullying.gov, bullying is defined as a kid (or group of kids) using their physical strength against another student or sharing embarrassing information to hurt that student. Usually, this happens repeatedly to the student who is being picked on. Bullying can also happen outside of school and online. Cyberbullying happens online and can take the form of sending embarrassing pictures of someone to other people or saying harmful or rude comments while chatting online. 
Bullying is bad for all kids involved, which is why the Boston Public School system works hard to make the safety and well-being of all students a top priority, according to its website. If you decide to be a bully, you should think twice about it because there are repercussions including detention, getting suspended from school and in some cases, being expelled or getting the police called. 
Why should you stop bullying?

In 2017, the National Center for Education Statistics found that nationwide, about 20% of students ages 12-18 experienced bullying. Having a conversation about bullying is important because it hurts people and makes them feel uncomfortable. For example, a student might not want to go to school because they may feel sad, embarrassed, angry, or even hungry in their lunch money is stolen.

What should you do if you see someone getting bullied?

(According to StopBulling.Gov and my personal advice)

- Tell a teacher or an adult if you are getting bullied, or if someone else is, that way they can get involved and stop the problem.
  • - Yell “STOP!” or scream loudly. People will hear you and might come to help.

  • - If they are hurting you physically, do not be afraid to fight back. You are only defending yourself. Would you rather be in the hospital or fight back and be safe at home?

  • - Run away so you can protect yourself from being hurt.

  • - Don’t do anything they say because it can affect you for getting in trouble or getting hurt. This can also affect you for getting the same consequences that bullies get.

What you shouldn’t do if you see someone getting bullied:
  • - According to Mission Manor Elementary in Tucson, Arizona  and Boston Public Schools

  • - Don’t become small, weak or make yourself look like you’re scared. This will make the bully feel like they have more control over you.

  • - Stand up to the bully. If you don’t, they feel they’re strong enough to still bully you.

  • - Don’t think it is your fault or keep it to yourself. Someone needs to know so they can fix the problem.

  • - Don’t think you are a tattle tale; it is the right thing to tell someone. You are only telling someone because you don’t want to get bullied.

  • - Don’t hurt yourself. Hurting yourself is bad for health and could turn into something big.

  • I hope students get advice from this as it will help you if you are being bullied or if someone you know is being bullied. I also hope parents and teachers find this helpful. I don't like bullying and try to do anything I can to stop it.  What other advice do you have? Share your ideas. Make a difference in your school. Don't be a bully yourself!
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