One of the understated stories of the 2020 election cycle was the rising tide of youth activism and participation in what was considered a crucial election. Beyond the top of the ticket, a number of state and local resolutions had massive implications for young would-be voters.
Across the country, electorates have been considering lowering the voting age. While this is not a new effort, various cities across the United States have considered a change to the electorate. In some places, voters sixteen and up would be allowed to vote in certain circumstances, like school board elections. In others, there were proposals to allow young citizens sixteen and up to vote in any and all elections.
In Colorado, some of Kevin and Gerardo’s students voted in the 2020 election, because they would be 18 by election day. However, part of the fallout from November 3 was the passage of Amendment 76. While the amendment was regarded as uncontroversial by some, it has dire implications for historically disenfranchised voters, as well as young voters.
Project VOYCE, whose motto “Nothing About Us Without Us” brilliantly characterizes its ethos, philosophy, and commitment, has been working on campaigns to expand youth voice across the system, including Student Voice Student Vote (SV2). These brilliant young activists and policymakers have worked hard to amplify a dynamic and needed demographic: the youth of our community.
Amendment 76 represented a gut-punch for Malachi Ramirez and the rest of the young activists at Project VOYCE and they found that a lot of their could be nullified by this amendment. They were forced to regroup, and the result has been the SV2 Listening Campaign, in which youth are invited to share their experiences, struggles, dreams, and concerns as they not only approach adulthood, but as they face and address issues TODAY.
Kevin and Gerardo sit down with Malachi to learn more. To sign up for a listening session, please complete this survey! Listen and support. More information can be found at https://www.studentvoicestudentvote.org/