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Let the 16 Year Olds Who are Marching for the Planet Vote to Save It

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Tens of thousands of high school students and their younger allies walked out of schools Friday in cities across the United States, as part of a global strike to demand action on the issue that will define their future: climate change. While older Americans continue to drag their heels—or, in the case of the presidents and his appointees literally deny reality—young people are organizing, rallying, and marching for a Green New Deal and necessary action to save the planet.

The rising generation of young Americans is politically engaged, and politically mature. These teenagers hold out the promise of a more just and equitable United States, not to mention the survival of the planet. “From gun violence, to immigration reform, to climate change, to the future of work—our young people are organizing, mobilizing and calling us to action,” says Congresswoman Ayanna Pressley, who argues that: “They are at the forefront of social and legislative movements and have earned inclusion in our democracy.”

To that end, the Massachusetts Democrat last week proposed to lower the federal election voting age from 18-years-old to 16-years-old.

“Some have questioned the maturity of our youth. I don’t,” the congresswoman told the House, explaining that, “A sixteen-year-old in 2019 possesses a wisdom and a maturity that comes from 2019 challenges, hardships, and threats. A sixteen-year-old will bring with them the 2019 fears that their father’s insulin will run out before the next paycheck. A seventeen-year-old will bring with them the 2019 hopes to be the first in their family to earn a college degree. A sixteen-year-old will bring with them the 2019 lessons they learned picking up shifts waiting tables to support their family while their mother was deployed. A seventeen-year-old will bring with them a 2019 solemn vow to honor the lives of their classmates stolen by a gunman. And now is the time for us to demonstrate 2019 courage that matches the challenges of the modern-day sixteen and seventeen year old.”

Pressley made a compelling argument that won the support of 126 House members for her proposed amendment to H.R. 1, the sweeping elections and ethics reform measure that passed the House March 8. Pressley’s amendment failed, but the proposal to lower the voting age won the support of the chamber’s most visionary members, including Congressional Progressive Caucus co-chairs Mark Pocan, D-Wisconsin, and Pramila Jayapal, D-Washington, as well as Congresswoman Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez, D-New York. This week, House Speaker Nancy Pelosi, D-California, endorsed the change. “I myself have always been for lowering the voting age to 16, said the California Democrat, who explained that she is enthusiastic about the idea “because when kids are in school, they’re so interested, they’re so engaged.”

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Thanks !

Thanks for sharing this, you are awesome !