For Tinesha Zandamela, a 23-year-old candidate for Provo City Council District 5 and a student at Brigham Young University, gender isn’t the only perspective missing from City Hall.
“Our median age here [in Provo] is a little over 23,” she said. “We don’t see that reflected on the council, and I think that’s really unfortunate because Provo is filled with so many wonderful young people who are doing a lot of great work.”
That lack of representation — with age, race and gender — was the catalyst behind her to decision to run.
“One of the very big things, again, is just getting people connected to city government, and there are a lot of people who feel disconnected,” she said. “That includes not just students or young people but also racial minorities and people who may not speak English as their first language or do not speak English at all.”
Although Zandamela, originally from Washington State, said some people have questioned her level of experience because of her age, she “wholeheartedly disagrees” that’s an issue.
“It doesn’t matter whether or not you’re married, whether or not you’re young or older,” she said. “What makes a good city council member is someone who’s able to lead, someone who’s able to listen and someone who has passion about the place that they live in.”
Zandamela said the more she campaigns, the more she’s able to overcome stereotypes and hopesto open people’s eyes to the value of unique perspectives.
“I believe all residents of Provo deserve to have a voice,” she said.