Los Angeles

LAUSD to Study Lowering Voting Age for School Board Elections

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The Los Angeles Unified School District Board of Education Tuesday approved a resolution to research the feasibility of a 2020 ballot measure lowering the voting age to 16 in board elections.

The motion introduced by student board member Tyler Okeke, board President Monica Garcia and board member Kelly Gonez calls for Superintendent Austin Beutner to report back to the board by June 18 on the results of research.

More than 75 students from schools across Los Angeles County rallied to show their support for the resolution with some testifying before the board Tuesday.

"I was moved to introduce this resolution because of what I observed in LAUSD board meetings during the recent teacher's strike," Okeke said. "I realized that the most important stakeholder in LAUSD -- students -- were being overshadowed by enfranchised stakeholders.

"Young people play critical roles in modern-day movements for change at home and in our communities and are ready to cast a ballot to elect a government that reflects our diversity and our ideals."

Okeke worked with the civic engagement organization Power California to develop the resolution and build support for it among high school students.

"Young people are passionate about having a say on the issues that matter to us," said youth advocate Arianna Romero. "We are already stepping up in our communities and deserve a voice in determining the solutions for the problems we deal with everyday. We are ready to speak our own truth at the polls."

Copyright CNS - City News Service
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