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Councillor rant irks young voters

A group of young people angered by what Councillor Katie Robinson had to say about the Boonstock Music Festival last week, are now wearing shirts with the message, "votekatieout."

Penticton resident Crystal Olson said they wore the shirts to the Alice in Chains concert, Friday night at the South Okanagan Events Centre, and plan to continue getting the word out.

"I just think her stereotyping everyone like that shows the closed mindedness of the current council, and we wanted to take the opportunity while everyone was talking about it to engage the younger demographic of voters. That's the entire purpose of the shirts," she said.

While some councillors have shown festival support, Robinson made the statement, "I'm not a head banging druggie, so I was not interested in it whatsoever," during questioning by the media at last Tuesday's council meeting. The questioning was in regards to council's attendance at the festival.

The councillor, who expressed concern about security going into the festival, later apologized and issued a statement on the matter.

"To whom it may concern, I would like to take the opportunity to apologize for a statement I made at the end of last night's council meeting.

As concerned as I am about public safety, the comment about Boonstock attendees was made without sufficient consideration for all the people who attended.

I recognize that there are many music enthusiasts of all ages from the community and visitors alike who participated in the festival, enjoyed the event and were positive, peaceful and here to experience  live music.

The comments were out of character for me, and it was not my intention to offend all those who attended the festival."

In addition to wearing the shirts, which read in full: "Head Banging Druggie #votekatieout" Olson said they hope to create more with different messages and get the word out via social media.

She also plans to attend the next city council meeting.

"Through Facebook and the shirts we are trying to engage the younger generation and get them voting in November," she said. "Part of the message is also that Boonstock was a great festival. Nine thousand people came to Penticton and there were lots of empty shelves at Safeway and Walmart."

On Monday, Robinson responded with this comment regarding the shirts: " If my comment sparked a youth movement to get out and vote, perhaps something positive will come from my poor choice of words."

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