Young candidate has 'why wait?' philosophy

Many people are probably wondering why recent Edison High School graduate Shawn Roselius would run for City Council , but the 18-year-old has big plans.

Roselius wants get into politics and move his way up from local to state to federal positions, with the ultimate goal of becoming president.

"I've always really, really been into politics … so I thought, why not get started now," he said. "Why wait?"

Roselius is one of 20 Huntington Beach City Council candidates vying for four open seats in November. He is competing against an incumbent, a former mayor, two school district trustees, three planning commissioners and a slew of other candidates with more life experience than him.

Despite his admitted lack of experience, Roselius said he thinks he has as much of a chance as any of the other candidates.

His age, he said, will make him stand out from the other candidates. It also makes him see the world in a different way — a perspective that hasn't accepted the "life isn't fair" adage.

"Maybe we can have a little more of the 'why can't things be fair?'" he said.

Roselius said he became interested in politics during his sophomore year. He had always been fascinated with history, but he got into current events, watching MSNBC and Fox News, and something clicked.

He started talking about politics with his friends, and then, local politics came on to his radar.

Roselius said he heard residents talk about how bad the current City Council is, and he became concerned that the dais is "filled up with developers."

"So I thought, if they are doing so bad, maybe I can do a better job," he said.

Listening to the majority, he said, is what he will do when elected. While that's a simple and basic goal of an elected leader, Roselius points to the recent public hearing for the Ridge project, where no residents stood up and supported it, but the council approved it anyway.

"It isn't right," he said. "They're elected to serve the people."

The council should have protected the open space designation, he said. He also doesn't support building the proposed senior center at Huntington Central Park or the increased density in the Downtown Specific Plan.

"Huntington Beach is a pretty crowded city as is," he said.

Roselius said he opposes the Poseidon desalination plant, and the downtown bar scene is a "concern that should be dealt with."

To deal with the problems downtown, he said, the bars could close earlier and police presence could be stepped up, but he acknowledged that would be difficult with all the budget cuts being made. He also wants to bring an idea he got from a trip to Europe to downtown Surf City — urinals that come out of the ground.

The urinals would stop patrons from urinating in downtown residents' front yards, he said.

While listening to the residents would be a priority, Roselius said he thinks his presence on the dais could bring in a wider variety of constituents by making young people more comfortable coming to meetings.

Roselius doesn't have any campaign signs out yet and has held only one fundraiser so far, netting about $500. He also doesn't have anyone endorsing him.

He does, however, plan on getting signs and pamphlets to do door-to-door campaigning.

While he said his age sets him apart from the other candidates, he also recognizes that most people don't think he is seriously running. His biggest hurdle is going to be getting residents to believe this isn't a prank, he said.

"I have to show people that I'm serious about this, that I'm not doing it as a joke," he said

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