- TEEN SPACE
Let Lowell Vote to lower the voting age in our local elections!
"LET LOWELL VOTE" TO LOWER THE VOTING AGE TO 17 IN OUR MUNICIPAL ELECTIONS! Support Bill #1111
Why should we lower the voting age in Lowell to 17 in our city?
- In December of 2010, Lowell teenagers packed City Hall to watch as Lowell City Councilors voted 7-1 and passed a resolution to send a Home-Rule petition to the Massachusetts State Legislature to let Lowell lower our voting age to 17 in municipal elections. The teens in Lowell and our City Council agree - now is the right time to lower our voting age to include High School seniors in the municipal election process.
- Lowell High School has a well-known "Public Service and Civic Engagement Academy" through which 'students will be guided in developing leadership qualities to fully participate in our democratic society.' In addition to this academy's efforts, UTEC teen organizers are simultaneously working with Teens Leading The Way in trying to get a civics course back into our high schools. We believe that an increase in civic knowledge in high school environments as well as lowering the voting age to include more high school students will help our community by: increasing voter turnout in local elections, create positive civic habits in young citizens, increase youth voices and their participation in decision-making processes.
- New research has just been published which supports initiatives to lower the voting age. In a written statement, Peter Levine, Director of The Center for Information and Research on Civic Learning and Engagement (CIRCLE) supported this research by saying, "Hart and Atkins find that Americans at age 17 score about the same on questions about political knowledge, tolerance, political efficacy, perceived civic skills, and community service as 21-year-olds, probably because their experience with civics classes, service projects, and so on are more recent." Levine sums up the report by concluding with, "another way of looking at the data is that teenagers' scores are quite close to the average for all adults." Levine agrees that now is the time to lower the voting age. http://tinyurl.com/4ghtxk6
THIS PETITION WILL PLAY A VITAL ROLE IN THE CAMPAIGN AS IT WILL BE:
- Presented at Legislative public hearings
- Presented to Representatives and Senators to gain their support from their constituents
- Presented to Governor Deval Patrick
A HISTORY OF "THE CAMPAIGN TO LOWER THE VOTING AGE TO 17 IN LOWELL MUNICIPAL ELECTIONS"
- The campaign was born at a Youth-Led City Council Candidate Forum in 2009 where 18 out of 19 candidates supported the idea.
- Last December our City Council passed this measure overwhelmingly as a home-rule petition by a vote of 7-1.
- Now, the Vote 17 Bill # H01111 has reached the Massachusetts Joint Committee on Election Laws to decide whether it “Ought to Pass!”
- If passed at the statehouse, residents in our City of Lowell will have the opportunity to vote on it as a local ballot question next fall. We want this Right!
On April 13, 2011 the Joint Committee on Election Laws will have a public hearing on our home-rule petition - Bill #H01111
We cannot do it alone! You can help them by showing your support by signing our petition, sending an email or calling your representatives and by contacting our the UTEC teen organizers at: email@example.com to get more involved.