Youth movement pushes for voting rights in San Francisco

Bay Area

SAN FRANCISCO, Calif. (KRON) – Whether it’s through Black Lives Matter protests or possibly trolling a presidential rally, younger people are making their political presence felt.

President Trump’s rally Saturday night seemed to have fallen flat and teens on Tik Tok are taking the credit.

Meanwhile, high schoolers here in San Francisco are pushing for the right to vote.

Social media appears to be the biggest factor in empowering teens to get more involved with what’s happening in their communities and across the country.

A campaign is right now underway for 16 and 17 year olds to vote in local elections.

One of San Francisco’s Youth Commissioners tells us they should be granted that right because there’s a growing passion for politics.

A youth movement is brewing in the Bay Area and nationwide.

San Francisco teens say they want to vote, while other young people are celebrating a suspected social media takedown of President Trump’s comeback rally in Tulsa.

“Young people really want to get involved, young people really want to have their voices heard,” Norman Yee said. 

District 7 Supervisor and Board President Norman Yee is behind this year’s push to allow 16 and 17 year olds to vote in local elections.

He says young people have been increasingly motivated.

“Research has shown that 16 and 17 year olds are in fact ready to dissect any complex issues,” Lee said.

The youth movement has been getting showcased in some of the city’s largest protests over the last several weeks.

San Francisco’s Youth Commission says as teens continue to show leadership they  deserve to have more involvement in our democracy.

“Local youth are extremely passionate and I think that, that’s why they should get the right to vote on local issues,” Sarah Cheung said.

The Vote16 Measure was narrowly shot down in 2016. Now four years later, supporters think it’s time for a change and they’re confident it will pass.

“With everything that’s going on right now, you can see how important it is to have youth voices be represented in our cities democracy. Young people are ready to vote,” Cheung said.

The expectation is with extending the voting rights to 16 and 17 year olds, it will also increase voter turnout.

The measure already has at least eight backers which is more than enough support.

San Francisco supervisors will vote to officially place the measure on the ballot on June 30.

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