Tuesday, October 29, 2013

Fired Up

I was so excited when I got invited to speak at Moral Monday in Alamance County. I was glad to have the opportunity to show other young people that if they pay attention and take action, they could make a difference.

Having been to previous Moral Mondays in Raleigh, Asheville, Charlotte, and Greensboro, I sort of knew what to expect. What I didn't expect was for so many people to show up right in my own little hometown. There were over 500 people at the event. The main organizer, Noah Read of Burlington, did a fantastic job of arranging and publicizing the event along with the Alamance County NAACP.

The highlight of my experience was getting to meet two women who have inspired me and I consider to be my heroes. I met Ellie Kinnaird, who resigned from the NC Senate in order to get people registered and to the polls to vote. I also met Rosanell Eaton, who I heard speak at Moral Monday and inspired me to take action.

I also got to see many friends I've made at previous Moral Mondays and meet many of my petition signers and supporters for the very first time. I also met a lot of young people. I met other girls who were inspired by my speech. I got to meet some very young future leaders too. 

Here is a video of the speech I gave. I am so thankful to Story of America for filming this amazing video. 

Today, this speech is being shared all over the internet and is getting a lot of attention. I'm extremely thankful to everyone who has shared this and I'm glad people are paying attention.

The point of all this, of everything I'm doing, is to restore the opportunity of teenagers here in North Carolina to pre-register. If I dream BIG, I would love to see a Federal pre-registration law passed. That way there would be a uniform age for pre-registration across the entire nation giving this opportunity to all of America's young people. The attention does no good without action. So, to all of you who are paying attention, please take action. Please contact your lawmakers. Please ask any candidate you plan to vote for how they plan to lead and encourage young people. Tell them you want to vote for a candidate that supports the restoration of pre-registration.

What we need is, first and foremost, for someone to sponsor the re-introduction of this legislation granting teenagers the ability to pre-register. Then we need to get it passed. We need the kind of representatives who want to encourage our youth and increase voter turnout among our young people in order to do this. We need to get promises and hold people to those promises.

As I said in my speech, "The match has been lit and my fire burns bright." But I need more wood on the fire. I want to be able to pre-register to vote when I turn 16. Please help me get this done. 


  1. You go Madison!! Keep up the great work!

  2. I'm so proud to know you. Someday, a person will ask me how I met the POTUS... and I'll start laughing, and all I'll be able to say is "baked goods."

    Forward together!

  3. You are an amazing little lady. I cannot tell you how impressed my husband and I were when we watched your video. I won't forget your name, for I believe one day you will accomplish great things!

  4. Madison, I live as far away as Scotland. You may not know this, but we are having a referendum next year to decide on whether or not we want independence from the United Kingdom. One of the unique aspects of this particular referendum is that 16-year-olds will be able to vote in it for the first time. I have searched my conscience to decide whether I agree with this. Afetr all, teenagers that young can't possibly be politically aware enough to make such decisions, can they? All that changed when I saw a video of a well turned out, articulate, thought provoking young lady putting the professional politicians to shame. Now I see clearly what I only suspected, that the young are so much more aware than we give them credit for. Thank you for that, and never ever stop being what you are, a wonderful, caring human being with the power to effect change. You go girl!

    I'd like to ask one small favor. Please tell your parents that if you were my daughter I'd be the proudest father in the world. They have obviously raised you in the best way, as I'm sure they already know. Thank you again.

    Jim Lewis

  5. It's people like you who give me hope that NC can be restored to its former glory. If you need any help along the way, know that you have a lot of supporters ready to fight alongside you.


  6. i love your message. i love your outfit (great hat, lady!). i just think you are one of the neatest, coolest, smartest functional human beings ever. hats off to you ;)

  7. As a former and hopefully also future North Carolina resident, you give me great hope for the state I love. May you stay this articulate and fiery forever. And keep rocking the cloche.

  8. Madison, fantastic. Your parents and you should be proud. Graduate students at UNC and Duke held an event with Democracy NC yesterday about the new voting legislation. I am sure we will be contacting you to ask how we can support you and work together. Good job, Madison!
    Susan Sanford

  9. You are amazing! Thank you so much. You are an absolute inspiration and I wish you all the best. Hope I get to vote for you in the future! You give this political cynic real hope. <3

  10. Madison, you are such an inspiration to people (of every age) all over the country. Being an advocate for what you believe is difficult at any age, but it is particularly hard when most people want to tell you that you are too young to know anything. It's clear that you're determined and invested, so I wish you the absolute best of luck.

  11. Madison - you remind me of my daughter when she was your age. She, like you, was both a moral as well as a political leader in the world she found herself. Today, 24 years later, she has become a world class leader in the world of curing HIV/AIDS.

    As for the accusation that you are a "Prop", always answer "YES!" and then explain that you, yourself, selected the issue, and the Liberal Media is following your leadership. Furthermore, those who can't refute you with civil conversation and logic must reduce themselves to name calling.

  12. Ms. Kimrey, I am in awe of the way you present yourself. I thought I was a thoughtful person at that age, but I don't think I could have held a candle to you.

    Keep on with what you're doing. You may not see it, but you are making a dent and turning heads. The largest of avalanches start with the tiniest of snowflakes.

  13. great speech, poise, and fire. best of luck in all your endeavors. you are amazing!

  14. I've spent this evening going through some of your posts, such as the one on rape culture, and I have to commend your resolve and eloquence. We need more voices like yours out there, don't stop fighting the good fight.

    [also consider a Twitter presence at some point in the future for the sake of exposure and discussion]


  15. I am a proud wingnut fighting for solid families and solvent social safety nets; I fully support voter ID.

    But even I agree with your stance on preregistration. Anyone who turns 18 on Nov 4th should be able to vote on the 5th.

    1. That was me on November 3rd 2008. The following day I had the privilege of voting in my first presidential election!

  16. What a marvelous young lady you are! I am so impressed with your intelligence and fiery spirit. Great job at Moral Monday. I will carry your message to my representaives on the state level here in Alaska if we do not already have something similar in place. What do you think about a national registry, similar to the selectice service mandate, that would require all 18 year olds to register to vote?

  17. Madison, would you permit me to "reprint" this article on my own blog, in this coming Tuesday's "Voice" column [http://moristotle.blogspot.com/search/label/Tuesday%20Voice]? I would be honored, and another member of my staff had already (before I saw this) asked me to approach you to write an article for "Tuesday Voice" in which you covered, for example, how you worked out what you were going to say, and what reactions you received afterwards from your audience.
        Of course, if you would rather write the column anew, be my guest.
        But I appreciate that you have to be about as busy as you want (or can?) be, so I don't want to impose on you. Just permission to reprint would be fine by me. With thanks from the bottom my heart.

  18. You young lady are an inspiration. You speak your truth and there are many who are afraid to do so. You are wise and full of passion. Thank you. Keep fighting for what you believe.
    Kevin D

  19. Madison, I wish I had gotten to know you better while I was interning at your church. Thanks for your inspirational voice! Lindsay E.

  20. Hi Madison. Go girl! I'm writing from London, England, and have just tweeted your story. You are being heard around the world!!

  21. What's wrong with having to show your ID at a voting precinct? I need to show who I am just about everywhere I go, as will you once you become an adult. Guess what? It's not that difficult. Please explain your reasoning. Thanks!

  22. Bravo kiddo . You give me hope for the future against ignorance.

  23. Dear Madison

    So very proud of you and your family for supporting and encouraging you to critically think, engage in life and and to take the challenges you are and will face in your life.

    I would like to offer a Constitutional point for your consideration. Amendment 14:Section 1. All persons born or naturalized in the United States, and subject to the jurisdiction thereof, are citizens of the United States and of the State wherein they reside. No State shall make or enforce any law which shall abridge the privileges or immunities of citizens of the United States; nor shall any State deprive any person of life, liberty, or property, without due process of law; nor deny to any person within its jurisdiction the equal protection of the laws.

    I would submit the following:

    1. You are an American
    2. You are a Citizen of the United States of America.
    3. The Governor and all who hold public office from the Town Clerk to the US President, Civil office holders, Military and Political are servants of "We the People".

    Most Sincerely Yours

    Joseph K. LaBonte
    Constitution Restoration Cooperative Association

  24. Madison,

    You are an awesome young women and my hero!
    Keep up the good fight, NC needs you!

    Durham, NC

  25. As a millennial from up north (New York), I salute your efforts to ensure that all 18-year-olds have access to the ballot box. Furthermore, I am impressed that someone your age has that much interest in the issues!

  26. Thank you Madison you are truly awesome and when you run for POTUS you have my vote young lady.

  27. Madison - You are such a powerful voice for girls' empowerment! I invite you to visit www.globalgirlsproject and consider sharing your own story. Keep up the great work!

    Sharon Reed
    Davidson, NC

  28. Hi Madison! I work for the Andrew Goodman Foundation, a civic engagement organization that works to promote voter rights, among other issues. I would very much like to be in touch. Is there a way to reach you? My email is maureen.shaw@andrewgoodman.org. Thank you!