By Maura Sheedy – 12th Grade, Oakland Catholic High School
As a soon-to-be-eighteen-year-old, the day in which I will be nationally recognized as a legal United States citizen is rapidly approaching. With this status, I will be taking up the responsibility to vote for the legendary presidential election, but also for the overlooked state and local government. However, unlike most of my peers, I have had the privilege to personally speak and question someone on the Pennsylvania senate ballot.
Pittsburgh Youth Media reporters had the opportunity to do a live interview with the current Mayor of Braddock and contender for Pennsylvania senate, Mr. John Fetterman. Before Mr. Fetterman arrived, my fellow reporters and I were aware of Mr. Fetterman’s unconventional image and backstory. He resembles a giant at over 6 feet tall and looks more like a bodybuilder than a politician. Even knowing this beforehand, we were taken aback when he walked into the studio. Despite the slight shock, Mr. Fetterman put us all at ease by telling us to call him “Mayor John” and then leaping into a story about his two-time experience on the popular Colbert Report before we began.
For us reporters, the experience was a beneficial outside-the-box experience, given that we were working with three other reporters, recording live, and interviewing someone who had also been interviewed by ABC and CNN. The other reporters and I began to grill Mr. Fetterman on everything from his decision to run for Mayor after living in Braddock for such a short amount of time, his plans if elected to Senate, his thoughts on jobs, social services, guns, and climates, and why youth should pay attention to politics. After a quick thirty minutes had passed, he admitted that our interview had been “one of the toughest that he had done”.
For myself, interviewing brought not only politics to life, but also teased at a future career as a journalist or businesswoman. After all, soon I will be a legal adult and these things will become a reality.
Thanks to Mayor John for the interview and Youth Express for recording. If you’d like to listen to a playback of the interview, listen at youthexpress.org.
Maura Sheedy is a senior at Oakland Catholic High School who lives in Thornburg. She previously has been a part of Young Writers Institute. She considers random things she has seen on the Internet to be her muse for her writing. She enjoys lacrosse, cheer, dance, and blogging.