NYRA-Berkeley recently participated in a successful debate on whether
17-year-olds should be permitted to vote in Berkeley School Board elections.
The debate, which took place on the campus of Berkeley High School,
was sponsored by the Berkeley Youth Commission and attended by four classes
of students.

Councilman Max Anderson spoke in favor of the youth suffrage proposal,
citing the fact that 17-years-olds can drive and enlist in the military. Councilman Gordon Wozniack attempted to refute Councilman Anderson’s
arguments, arguing against the NYRA position. Berkeley Mayor Tom Bates also
attended the debate. NYRA’s vice president Pamela Tatz and NYRA-Berkeley’s president Zach Hobesh
also spoke on behalf of the proposal, while students from the Junior
Statesman of America argued against NYRA’s voting age efforts.

The debate was moderated by Berkeley Youth Commission Chairman Rio Bauce,
who is also the Chairman of NYRA-Berkeley. Bauce asked those present to
sign a petition on behalf of the proposal. An article about the debate
appeared in the Berkeley Daily Planet. By all accounts, this debate was an
overwhelming victory, and NYRA remains hopeful that NYRA-Berkeley will
triumph in their struggle to lower the voting age.