Title

How This Year's Elections Will Affect Youth - And What They're Doing About It

Note: Public Media Group of Southern California does not endorse any proposition.

Learn more about issues that affect young people on "City Rising: Youth & Democracy." Watch now.

It is no exaggeration to say that this year's elections would have major consequences for the nation's history, and a younger generation who would be dealing with the aftermath of the nation's choices next week are increasingly speaking out for their interests. Here are seven articles that help illuminate how California voter choices will affect youth — and how this next generation is responding to the needs of the times.

Is Prop 15 A Sufficient Counter to COVID-19 Devastation in Schools? 

The state of California education was dismal even before the pandemic, but with the closure of physical learning came unbudgeted costs that schools had to take out to accommodate learning online. This left an already troubled state education system, grappling with larger debt.  

Prop 15 on the ballot could generate up to $12 billion with 40% of it goin to schools and community colleges. Is that funding enough and will Prop 15 address California's education issues? This article by researcher Carrie Hahnel explores what Prop 15 could add to the state's education system and what it does not address including: even more funding and other infrastructural changes that need to happen to help fix California's education system.  

For Youth Leaders, The Fight is Personal: Mobilizing for Prop 15

Advocating for better education is usually in the realm of parents and adult allies, but more and more young people are lending their support and voices to help fix California's education system. This article takes a look at the backbone behind Schools and Communities First campaign, the organizing in support of Prop 15 and the youth engine that's driving all this mobilization through Power California, Californians for Justice and GENup. The article takes readers behind some of the mobilization techniques youth are employing and introduces us to young organizers to understand what's at stake for them.

Power California Field Director Mynor Godoy assists volunteer phone bankers at a GOTV event in Los Angeles in February 2020 | Jay Banks
Power California Field Director Mynor Godoy assists volunteer phone bankers at a GOTV event in Los Angeles in February 2020 | Jay Banks

Proposition 16 and the Myths of Affirmative Action Debunked

Proposition 16 determines whether or not to allow government or public institutions to discriminate or grant preferential treatment to persons based on their race, sex, color, ethnicity or national origin in public employment, public education and public contracting. Sociologist Vilna Bashi Treitler looks at the arguments for and against Proposition 16 and debunks the persistent myths of affirmative action. 

What Our Criminal Justice System Can Learn from Schools Practicing Restorative Justice Today

Restorative champions say that the model reduces suspensions and engagement with law enforcement while increasing the sense of community and safety on campus. They say this type of change is possible not only for schools but also for cities and states. Writer Chanté Griffin introduces readers to the concept of restorative justice and its encouraging results in California schools.

Story continues below

Voting at a Younger Age Can Help Fortify America’s Electoral Democracy

This generation of youth has grown up in a highly politicized environment where racial equity in schools, climate change and immigration are top issues. They've also grown up with technology to better be able to understand its far reaching consequences. They are primed and politicized with their specific views on issues, but they lack the power of the vote.

This article by a young organizer Arianna Nassiri argues for the passage of the law to allow voting for a younger age and the consequences it has on society as a whole.

Turning Out Young Voters of Color: Young People Show A Better Way

Youth votes have traditionally been mobilized through one on one means, concerts or big rallies. But COVID 19 has changed all of that. Now, faced with a pivotal election period, the opportunity to mobilize the youth vote is slowly dwindling. In response to the challenge, young organizers are responding to the times by organizing through the available means they have.

This article by deputy director of Power California Jung Hee Choi introduces us to young people of color, why they're involved in mobilizing youth votes and how they're adapting to the pandemic to mobilize youth votes.

Destiny Martinez, 18, votes for the first time at the Power California early voting event and festival for students of the Los Angeles Unified School District on Wednesday, October 24, 2018 in Norwalk. | Mindy Schauer/Digital First Media/OC Register
Destiny Martinez, 18, votes for the first time at the Power California early voting event and festival for students of the Los Angeles Unified School District on Wednesday, October 24, 2018 in Norwalk. | Mindy Schauer/Digital First Media/OC Register

It Takes “The Town” to Fight for a Quality Education: Oakland and The Challenges Ahead for Public Schools 

Improving the quality of education in Oakland public schools has been an ongoing and uphill battle. Tony Douangviseth, Executive Director of Youth Together takes readers inside the Oakland strike and the issues it needed to address on the road to fixing the educational system. It's example can apply throughout the state. 

This article is a series companion to the documentary “City Rising: Youth & Democracy” funded by The California Endowment.

 

Top Image: Over 400 high school students walked in unity to the OUSD school board meeting the morning of Monday, March 4th, 2019 following the contract agreement between the teachers union and school district. | Courtesy of Youth Together

We are dedicated to providing you with articles like this one. Show your support with a tax-deductible contribution to KCET. After all, public media is meant for the public. It belongs to all of us.

Keep Reading

Full Episodes