ROCK SPRINGS -- Oleksandr "Alex" Mikula is seeking to represent Ward I on the Rock Springs City Council. He said he wants to go into politics and knows he has to start small and move his way up.
He is 21 years old, graduated high school in 2015, and went to college at Western Wyoming Community College.
"I want to learn everything I can from the ground up," Mikula said. "I understand that a lot of people out there don't see younger people such as myself to be capable of doing anything related to politics. I want to challenge that. I want to challenge the ideas that the younger generations can do something."
While thinking about going into politics, he attended a Rock Springs City Council meeting. Mikula said he noticed that all the people in the council are older and he didn't see one person in that room who was around his age.
"Why? Because right now young people want nothing to do with politics because a lot feel as if it doesn't pertain to them. No one clicks. No one seems to understand them," he said.
"This is 2020. I feel there needs to be changes. New blood. New, fresh ideas."
Mikula said modern problems require modern solutions. He added you can't fix the current state of things using Cold War tactics.
"You need to evolve, you need to adapt, and you need to be able to have an open mind. I feel like I have a lot of those qualities," he said. "I personally have been through alot, especially the past few years, but I came out of it."
He said he sees so many people, young and old, going through similar situations.
"I want to personally engage our community, I want to talk face to face with the people I will be representing," Mikula said.
The way he sees it, all the decisions City Council makes shouldn't be based solely on a specific group of people or the council members themselves.
"I feel it needs to be talked over and decided on every person in our community," he said.
Mikula was born in Sevastopol, Ukraine, and has lived in Wyoming since he was 3 years old.
"I want to earn the trust of our community. I want the people to know who I am. I want them to know what kind of person will be representing them," he said. "I want to personally engage our community. I want to get to know the people I represent."
He said he doesn't ever want to be seen as better than anyone else; Mikula just wants to be seen as a young man who wants to help his community.
"I don't want people to be afraid to approach me or talk to me. Mikula added he wants to see young people became more politically involved.
He added, "We need more of a diversity in the political system. So I have decided to start with City Council," Mikula said. "I want to help our community and help it thrive."
For example, he wants to see kids stay out of trouble.
"I know we have a very serious drug problem in our town. I want to figure out ways we can fight back against this drug crisis," he said. "I want to find a solution to be able to keep our kids safe and keep them from getting involved with drugs.
"Help me help you so we can help our community together."