Youth and Animals Have a Political Voice in PA

Guest Blog by Kira Golub

I am seventeen years old and have been politically active for roughly two years. No, I didKira 2 not mistype my age, I really am seventeen. I still remember the first day I walked into my state representative Todd Stephen’s office, at only fifteen, with my mother by my side. My whole body was shaking with nerves as if I was in front of a crowd delivering a speech. I walked in with a goal to convince him that we need to ban puppy mills in Pennsylvania. Looking back, he must have thought I was so uninformed. He is the prime sponsor on many of our state’s successful animal protection laws, which I did not know walking into that meeting. He was kind and gave me as much information on his efforts as possible and pointed me in the direction of Kristen Tullo, the PA State Director of The Humane Society of the United States. My name is Kira Golub and I am at an age where political voices are harshly underestimated.

Contrary to popular belief, being politically active is not just the job of voting age citizens. I represent a small segment of the teenage population that refuses to wait until voting age to make our opinions known. However, I am not special or unique. I was just fortunate enough to find my voice at a young age. Unaware of opportunities for youth in politics until I got involved, the contacts I made on behalf of animal welfare causes helped me see that work done lobbying for positive legislation can bring changes that affect whole groups of animals in needed rather than the efforts I was used to which were helping one animal at a time. Animal rescue was an important part of my life since age eleven. Even at that age I recognized that animals were unprotected and that many of their problems could be eliminated if only there was a law.

I took Representative Todd Stephens’ advice and contacted Kristen Tullo. She invited me to Humane Lobby Day and my mind was blown. I have gotten wonderful opportunities in the past year to intern in the state affairs department of HSUS and now within Humane PA PAC itself. The amount of change I can make in animal lives is huge. Although I am not able to vote yet, I am able to help convince others to elect humane legislators into office and urge those legislators to keep animal protection as a high priority.

The biggest misconception about youth in politics is that legislators do not care what we have to say because we do not vote them into office. I cringe every time I hear this. The legislators that truly belong in office are there to serve their constituents and Pennsylvania has so many wonderful public servants doing just that. These elected officials care what we have to say whether you are old enough to vote or not, because you are the person they are in office to represent. The youth in America are in a unique position with the time and energy to make major change in the world and yet we walk around thinking we will have no impact until we are adults. This is why I am so grateful to have been asked to write this blog. I can now walk into Rep. Todd Stephens office, greeting his secretary and other staff members with a sense of comradery, because we have worked on so many events together over the last two years. Rep. Stephens cares and he is not the only one. I hope adults reading this recognize that it is so important to educate the younger generations on how to be an informed citizen and that the kids reading this know that their voices can make a difference during all stages of their life as long as they choose to use it.


Kira 1


Kira Golub is a full time high school student from Horsham, Pennsylvania with a passion for animal protection. Kira will be attending Indiana University of Pennsylvania Honors College in the fall of 2019, majoring in Political Science and Spanish. Kira has been a volunteer with HSUS and Humane PA PAC for almost two years.



Categories: Animal cruelty, Youth making a difference


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