KQED partnered with BAVC’s NextGen youth program for an exploration into the local election process. Students from BAVC’s youth leadership council, Gears, visited Sacramento to learn more about this year’s ballot measures affecting California’s youth.
Speakers emphasized the value of youth voice in the election process.
“The extent to which you as younger voters share your opinions, you’re helping to play a role in a wider process, helping to make sure it’s not just one segment of the population who is affecting all of these laws,” said Dan Kaplan of the Legislative Analyst’s Office.
“The extent to which you can voice your opinion about what problems you see in your local communities to the legislature helps inform us about what’s really going on,” said Kaplan.
For those not old enough to vote in this year’s election, speakers suggested other practical ways to reach major decision makers.
Teri Burns from the California School Board Association encouraged students to approach school officials, attend school board meetings and write letters to local representatives with ideas and concerns about issues impacting their communities.
“Getting started now, learning about public policy, learning about how to become engaged in your communities politically is important because that’s how you move up to bigger decision making jobs,” said Colin Grinnell, the Staff Director of the Senate Governance and Finance Committee.