By: 67 Sueños
2018 is a critical year for the Latino community, especially for our youth. At 67 Sueños – an organization in Oakland, CA that works with marginalized undocumented youth and youth from mixed status families affected by high rates of violence, mass incarceration, deportation, and poverty – we know this all too well.
Using political education, trauma healing, artivism, and introducing our youth to alternative life changing experiences, 67 Sueños cultivates youth organizing and power building by guiding young people to trust their own process and reframe their stories as a source of power and resistance.
This is why this past January’s 2018 Gubernatorial Forum, hosted by the Latino Community Foundation, was an excellent opportunity to mobilize our youth towards the ballot box and to inform them of their choices for California Governor.
What transpired that night was exciting. Our families gathered together for a watch party to hear from the candidates and to listen how they would address the problems facing our communities. Everyone was fired up, especially the young people.
Following the Forum, our youth asked if they could host voting registration parties at their schools during lunch hours and after school to register their peers. We had youth from three different high schools in the room and all three were interested in hosting voting registration parties at their school.
And this is exactly what they did.
Here are a few excerpts from our youth:
“Although I am still not able to vote, I believe that as young people we still have the power to be civically engaged and create real change in our communities. Therefore, I co-led a voting registration party at my school where we pre-registered and registered youth who otherwise might not have been included in the upcoming California Gubernatorial election.” Alva, 17
“We focus on building bridges, not walls, and to stand together in solidarity, especially in times like this. I co-led the voting registration party at my school where we urged our peers to use their voting power and to send a powerful message in the upcoming Gubernatorial election that we will be heard.” Stephanie, 15
With the California Primary quickly approaching us, we must follow the lead of our youth and spread the message of voting to realize the change we want to see in our communities.
Next week, Monday May 21, is the voter registration deadline to participate in the 2018 California Primary. On the ballot are choices for our next Governor, United States Senator, State Superintendent of Public Instruction and more. Since last September, over 100,000 16 and 17-year olds have pre-registered to vote. Now is the time to be bold and use our voices in this election!