Coming this October: LA's 1st Youth Civic Engagement Month
Why Should Youth be Civically Engaged?
Young People ages 18-29 make up nearly 25% of the population of Los Angeles. Yet in the 2012 City elections, young people constituted only 3% of the votes cast. The issue goes much deeper than that: compared to their older counterparts, young Americans are far less likely to engage with their government in general.
There are very real consequences when such a significant and important part of the population does not feel motivated to participate in their democracy. It has been proven time and time again that areas where demographics are more equally represented in elections experience tangible benefits, such as higher graduation rates.
It would be unfair to blame low participation rates among youth on the myth that the youngest generation is inherently lazy. This generation of Americans is the most educated, most diverse and most charitable in the history of our country. The issue is that young voters in our nation do not feel like their voices matter.
Civic engagement depends on an engaged and informed citizenry. Welcoming younger Americans into the governmental process by giving them a seat at the table and empowering their voices lays the groundwork for a lifetime of voting and engagement even before they turn 18.
Beyond just incentivizing increased turnout rates, involving youth earlier on in government allows us to benefit their unique point of views seeing as young people are increasingly involved and affected by issues facing communities in this city and across the country. Youth and community development are one and the same. Their involvement will make our policy solutions that more vibrant, and our communities better places to live.
What is Youth Civic Engagement Month?
Youth Civic Engagement Month, recognized during the month of October, was established to simultaneously celebrate the remarkable work already done by youth leaders across the city and to serve as a rallying point for our efforts to better civically engage the youth of our city.
What is the Office of Councilman Joe Buscaino doing?
Youth Civic Engagement Month Action Plan
Goal/Thinking Process: The Resolution for Youth Civic Engagement Month cannot only be a broad philosophy set in paper with no momentum behind it. Symbols matter only if we put them to action. The ideas below are the actions the Councilman has taken on and proposals he has offered on how to empower our young leaders and establish a strong foundation for a lifetime of beneficial civic engagement.
Policy formulation is only one way to make this world a better place. There are so many more ways to leave a mark on the actions government takes.
Encouraged and Organized Civic engagement fairs at various locations where different campaigns, ballot measures, and general issue groups can connect and communicate with voters of all ages
Voter registration drives to be conducted in coordination with different service groups, civic engagement organizations, and campaigns.
What can you do?
For elected officials:
For young leaders: