Vote at 16
Young people need to have a voice in shaping their future. PowerCA Action and our sister organization, Power California have helped lead the fight to expand voting rights to 16 and 17 year olds in California because we believe young people are ready and deserve to vote. We’ve grown the Vote at 16 movement by advocating on the state level for bills to expand voting age as well as advancing School Board resolutions to expanding voting rights to 16 year olds in school board elections.
Young people across the country are mobilizing, marching, and speaking out on critical issues as never before, from the Youth Climate Strike and Black Lives Matter 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.
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.
VICTORY: OAKLAND VOTERS EXPAND RIGHT TO VOTE TO 16 & 17-YEAR-OLDS
In November 2020, Oakland voters passed Measure QQ, expanding the right to vote to 16 and 17-year-olds in school board elections. This landmark victory came under the visionary leadership and organizing of the Oakland Kids First coalition, Californians for Justice and other Meaningful Student Engagement (MSE) coalition partners. We were proud to work with our partners to educate over 6,000 voters on the measure, and to offer messaging trainings and field program support, calling in the people power of our pre-existing voter registration work in Oakland.
SENATE CONSTITUTIONAL AMENDMENT (SCA) 2
Senate Constitutional Amendment (SCA) 2 introduced by California State Senator Henry Stern would allow 17-year-olds the right to vote in California. Our leaders began lobbying proposals for a statewide bill in 2019, with Proposition 18, the Primary Voting for 17-Year-Olds Amendment, to expand the voting age to 17. Though Proposition 18 ultimately fell a few points short, SCA 2 – Stern is now making its way successfully through the state legislative cycle.