After losing a bid to become president of his sixth-grade class, Wesley Livesay never lost another election. He went on to become class president at Stebbins High School as a freshman, sophomore and junior and president of the entire student body as a senior.
Now, the 18-year-old Livesay — a freshman business student at Wright State University — has set his sights on higher office. He is running for City Council in his hometown of Riverside.
“I’ve always had an interest in politics growing up,” said Livesay. “In high school, I was always involved. And now that I’ve graduated high school, it’s like, ‘What’s next?’”
Livesay grew up Riverside and currently resides there. His father is a city inspector for Kettering and his mother a secretary at Spinning Hills Middle School in Riverside.
As a young man, Livesay was active in sports and an academic achiever. He took honors and Advanced Placement classes in high school and was in the Society for Academic Excellence.
Livesay opted to come to Wright State in part because of the strong reputation of the Raj Soin College of Business.
“I’ve always enjoyed the idea of owning my own business and operating it one day,” he said.
A few months ago, Livesay was elected to Riverside’s Health and Safety Commission and was encouraged to run for City Council. So he collected the necessary 100 signatures of registered voters to get his name on the ballot in the November election.
There are two seats up for election on the seven-seat council and five candidates running for the four-year terms.
“Everyone has to start somewhere,” he said. “If someone like myself who cares enough about Riverside and is determined enough, they can sometimes be as effective as someone who’s been in there a long time and has more experience.”
A city of more than 25,000, Riverside rubs up against Wright State and the National Museum of the United States Air Force. It is home to numerous technology, industrial, research and service-based business, surrounds Eastwood Metro Park and borders Huffman Metro Park.
Livesay wants to improve the city’s infrastructure and further develop its park system for youth soccer and baseball teams.
“I hope I have the ability attract more young voters into the area,” he said. “By increasing voter awareness, I think it betters the community all the way around.”
Livesay said that lawmakers are often so tied to their parties and entrenched in their beliefs that it is hard to get anything done.
“Sometimes in order to get the best results for the community — and in this case the nation — you have to put other people first and make a decision,” he said.
Livesay has been mingling with members of the community at fairs and festivals to try to create some name recognition. He plans to create a website, business cards, bumper stickers and yard signs.
“I hope it will open up more doors for me and my future,” he said.