Young Voices Make Majority of Electorate

Annette Ungermann, News Editor

2019 is off to a rocky start. The longest government shutdown in American history has confirmed what we already knew— federal politics is impacting our daily lives, whether we like it or not.

The shutdown, among other events that have dominated headlines, reminds us of the deep partisan polarization that continues to descend from the federal level down.

In a brighter spot of news (depending on perspective, of course), we’ve also seen the Bay Area’s own Senator Kamala Harris announce her bid for the 2020 presidency— an election in which many current Campolindo students will be old enough to vote.

As 2019 ramps up, there’s plenty of time to reflect on the political capabilities of our student body, as well as the potential for continued community involvement throughout this upcoming year. 2018, specifically, saw a sharp rise in political action among our student body.

In the spring, students led a walk-out with bipartisan speakers protesting gun violence and mourning its victims. Student action also brought Representative Mark DeSaulnier to campus for a town hall on the same subject. This fall, many students pre-registered to vote in a school-wide drive organized and executed by my peers. Several also had the opportunity to vote in this past year’s midterm elections for the first time.

The list goes on.

My primary hope for 2019 is that this this streak of political involvement continues and that we remember that to be able to fulfill our civic duty is a privilege; to speak up for what we believe in is never a waste of time.

It’s also never too late for New Years’ resolutions, and if you resolve to do anything this year, consider looking toward our immediate community to seek ways to take action.

Recent reports show that for the upcoming 2020 presidential election, Millenials and Generation Z combined will make up 37% of the electorate, more than the share of the Baby Boomers at 29%. Young voices will have a real, competitive platform to stand for candidates and legislation that we value– if we promise to use it, that is.

This year is bound to hold many opportunities for us to speak up for or against what is happening both on a local and national level. May we find new ways this year to share with our friends and fellow students the importance of political engagement, activism, and most importantly, education.

Despite the contention, bitterness, and misinformation that is often mirrored by our most powerful political leaders, it is vital that our student body continue to hold informed and respectful discourse over the social and political topics that matter the most. Like anything of value, it starts small.