Brianna Cea, a junior at Binghamton University, is an advocate for active student and youth civic engagement. Brianna currently serves as the coordinator, founder and president of the campus chapter of The Roosevelt Institute, where she and her peers created and published the "Binghamton Blueprint," a student-led policy agenda focused on fostering a campus/community coalition. She also founded a local student consulting organization dedicated to improving student engagement in community government, advocating for and establishing a student platform that was endorsed by a community government candidate. She has served as volunteer coordinator and daily operations manager for local congressional campaigns and the newly elected county executive's campaign. Most recently, Brianna has established a student board of advisors, recruiting representatives from local colleges and high schools to advise the new county executive about student initiatives. Brianna demonstrates an exceptional commitment to active civic engagement. She is highly motivated, passionate and determined to exemplify civic engagement, not only in her own life, but also to inspire her peers to follow suit and others around her to take notice and engage all students as equal citizens with a legitimate claim to equal representation in local government.
Since a young age, I have firmly believed that active civic engagement and awareness of local issues are the responsibilities of every American citizen. Yet, in a political environment of divisive rhetoric and discoursing promises, my generation has been sidelined in both national and local politics across the country. Since I have been at Binghamton University, I have been at the forefront of revitalizing youth engagement in local government and issues facing Broome County. As the President of the Roosevelt Institute, I have been a leading advocate for several social issues, such as coordinating a statewide campaign for voter reform and establishing the first youth delegation in local government.
To address our community's most pressing issues, such as food deserts and economic development, I spoke to hundreds of students and community members, and led the movement for the first student-led crowd sourced policy agenda. This agenda created a collective vision for solutions that can improve our community. My work has demonstrated that by empowering the community and challenging our elected officials to create a more accessible and participatory political process, we can create a unified voice that reflects all of Broome County's citizens, because who writes the rules matters.