UW-Madison freshman running for Madison City Council

Max Prestigiacomo, 18, is a freshman at the University of Wisconsin-Madison. On top of being a full-time student, majoring in political science and history, he’s taking on another major task: He’s running for City Council.

“There are so many different things that led me to this point,” he said.

Prestigiacomo said he is tired of conventional politics and is frustrated with the way many issues are handled on the federal and local levels.

“I believe what my generation is seeing right now is the injustice perpetuated by every single system put in place,” he said. “It’s not only ineffective at policymaking and making sure lives of people are better, but it’s really sticking it to those who need it and really forcing them into poverty, forcing them into situations where they can’t survive.”

Prestigiacomo has already led major protests in Madison. Some of his organized efforts have drawn in hundreds of people supporting the issues he cares about the most.

“I’m obviously running as a climate activist. That is super important to me, but Madison has a lot of other issues facing it. Voting rights, undocumented rights, mental health, youth issues, youth rights, prioritizing young people in this community. I think they’ve been disenfranchised. I don’t think, I know they’ve been disenfranchised,” he said.

If Prestigiacomo is elected, he would be the youngest person serving on the council board. He said he knows he would face some setbacks, especially considering his age. However, he said he doesn’t plan on measuring his success by how much he is able to get done during his term.

“I think my long-term goal would just be to make a positive difference in this community and inspire other people that share my identity — young people, LGBTQ, climate activists — to be taking their idea, their power to governance that handle any type of governing in this country or on this planet,” he said. “We could even be taking some of this stuff to the United Nations.”

While he says his hopes and dreams are much bigger than what’s going on here in Madison, Prestigiacomo said this is just the first step in taking things to the next level.

“I hope to take that and obviously create a new system that will hopefully outlast me and make sure that young people are uplifted and actually have their voices heard. Young people in Madison deserve a spot on this council.”

Prestigiacomo said he is running to fill the seat for District 8. Elections will be held next April.

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