At 19 years old, many young Americans are simply trying to navigate their way through the beginning years of college, with deadlines for papers as their main concern. However, Kalan Haywood Jr.’s life is a little different. The Wisconsin native is making history within the political arena.
By January 2019, when he’s likely to formally be sworn in, Haywood will become the youngest state legislator in Wisconsin. He won the election back in August, beating out five other Democrats (there were no Republican opponents), and going forward, will represent Milwaukee’s 16th District.
According to an interview with the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel, Haywood feels that his young age is actually his biggest asset, regardless of any doubt that may arise. “Being young is going to play well with some people, but there will also be people who doubt me because of my age, which is fair — it’s new,” he said.
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Had a wonderful meeting today with FMR. U.S. Attorney General EricHolder! Thank you for coming to MKE and speaking to just how important Wisconsin(Milwaukee) is to our nations future. I look forward to working with you! #RepElectK2 #BlueWave #SERVICE #VoteBlue #Nov6th #EveryVoteMatters
This win is just the tip of the iceberg. According to the National Conference of State Legislatures, it’s likely that Haywood, who served on the Milwaukee Youth Council at 14, will be the youngest lawmaker in the United States, which is quite major. His topics of interest within this role include voting rights and how the people within his city are living. “Adding the requirement of registering to vote is very important,” Hayward said, “especially in my district where we get a very low [voter] turnout compared to a total population.”
While he’s keeping tabs on local policies, Haywood will also be splitting his time between the new position and school. Currently, he is a second-year business student at Cardinal Stritch University.