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Ready to Vote: Expanding Voting Rights to 16

Young people across the country are mobilizing, marching, and speaking out on critical issues as never before, from the Youth Climate Strike and March for Our Lives to immigrant rights and mass incarceration. They are taking action and advocating for solutions to the urgent issues of our time. It’s time they have a voice -- and a vote.  Power California is working with local partners throughout California to expand voting rights to 16 year olds and older. Here is why.

Young people of color are already leaders in their families and communities

Young people play critical roles within their families from translating for elders to taking care of their sibling. They already carry adult responsibilities on behalf of their families. At 16 young people can drive, pay taxes, and work without major restrictions for the first time. Today’s 16 year olds possess the wisdom and maturity that comes from 2019 hardships, challenges and threats.

Young people deserve representation

Many families may lack elected representation in schools and communities if their parents are undocumented or non-citizens and cannot vote -- making it even more critical that young people of color have expanded voting rights.

Young people are ready to vote and politically engaged

The 2018 midterm demonstrated that young people are listening, engaged and ready to vote. In a 2 year period in California, nearly 200,000 young people pre-registered to vote - demonstrating the demand and eagerness with which young people are ready to engage in our democracy. Young people are leading boldly against climate change, gun violence, mass incarceration and other major issues. They deserve the power to vote on the solutions and policies that will determine their future.

Young people will strengthen our democracy

It’s critical to our democracy that young people make voting a habit earlier and often. At 16 and 17 young people are learning about civics and government in their high school, which makes it a perfect opportunity for them to exercise real world civic participation. Evidence shows that when young people vote in their first few consecutive elections they become lifetime voters -- ultimately strengthening our democracy.

About our Work

Vote at 16 Los Angeles - on April 23rd student leaders from Los Angeles Unified School District will be in support of an exploratory resolution to look at allowing 16 and 17 year olds to vote in Los Angeles. For more information on how to get involved in LA efforts contact roque@powercalifornia.org

Vote at 16 statewide coalition - Young people across California are leading Vote at 16 movements in their respective communities. Power California brings young people to cross-share and strategize around the vote at 16 movement. For more information contact alicia@powercalifornia.org