Rockin' politics

Recent Oakland University graduates and other young folks are gearing up for an unusual entertainment event– one that mixes music, beer and political participation.

Rockin the Vote, being held Wednesday, Oct. 13, at Bo’s Brewery in Pontiac, will afford attendees a chance to register to vote while listening to the sounds of Oakland University’s classic rock band Gordon Bennett. In addition, Detroit’s DJ Bone will be spinning tunes upstairs at Bo’s Loft.

"The youth are disenfranchised," says Dan Smith, a recent OU grad with a major in political science who is one the event’s organizers. "We need to bring them back into the fold. … We as young people need to have a voice and say that the best and the brightest should be in there and they should represent us, not just middle-aged people."

"Older politicians, older people don’t want young people to get involved. They want to keep the status quo," Smith says. "If you look at the ’60s, it’s young people who spark change. …We’re the next generation, we’re going to inherit pollution, we’re going to inherit environmental problems, we’re going to inherit Social Security."

Oakland County Commissioner Tim Melton, D-Pontiac, a 28-year-old political newcomer, is helping coordinate the effort, which starts at 7 p.m. with the taping of "The Tim Melton Project," the commissioner’s public access cable show about county government.

Pontiac-based Discount Transportation plans to run free shuttle vans to and from OU from 7 p.m. until at least 1 a.m.

There will be a $5 cover charge, but co-coordinator Sue Schweim says those who simply want to register to vote don’t have to pay.

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