One Black college student will likely soon be able to call himself the youngest state lawmaker in the nation.
This history-making title will presumably go to Kalan Haywood, a 19-year-old student at Cardinal Stritch University in Milwaukee who is set to become a Wisconsin legislator in just three months. Haywood will be sworn in the Assembly chambers of the Wisconsin Capitol to represent Milwaukee’s 16th District before the year’s end — a feat that will likely lead people to cheer and chant even more for Black excellence. His age will help him with reaching all people and achieving excellence in the position, he said.
“My age is my biggest asset,” Haywood, who is a Democrat and a second-year business major, said to the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel.
No lack of experience will seemingly stop Haywood from taking on the role, which will likely become his without a fight. The 19-year-old won a five-way primary election in August and has no Republican challenger. The Wisconsin assembly seat is nearly his, with the only possible obstacle being if an unexpected candidate pulls together a quick, successful write-in campaign.
Also, Haywood has undoubtedly proved that lawmakers don’t have to older white men. He has joined a slew of other Black men and women who have won primaries and major support to take on various offices nationwide. A primary win is already a huge victory in itself, with many social media users having celebrated candidates of color for besting opponents. What candidates do after primary victories and once they’re in office has sparked interesting online dialogues among Black Twitter.
Haywood, who was elected to the Milwaukee Youth Council at age 14 and ultimately won the presidency, said he plans to introduce an amendment for a new state law requiring high school students to pass a civics exam. His proposal included requiring students to register to vote at age 18.