The District of Columbia is the newest front in the ongoing campaign to lower the voting age to 16. NYRA partner, OUR C.A.P.S. (Community Alliance for Peaceful Streets), kicked off their campaign to lower the DC voting age on Friday. Armed with stats and arguments provided by NYRA, this new group is bringing this issue to the DC City Council and young people throughout the District.
Our CAPS was initially founded as a community group seeking to address the uptick in violent crime DC has experienced this year. After attending various public forums seeking to address DC’s unsafe streets Our CAPS founder, Michelle Blackwell realized both that it was young people who had the most direct experience with the threat of crime in their neighborhoods and had the best ideas for addressing it. Yet instead of seeing these teens as experts on this issue with innovative ideas for fixing the problem, leaders largely ignored or patronized them.
Frustrated by this treatment of passionate, intelligent youth, Michelle sought help and came across NYRA’s campaign to lower the voting age. She read through our Top 10 Reasons to Lower the Voting Age and realized that the only way young people will be taken seriously, the only way they will be heard is to lower the voting age. The Our CAPS campaign is an exciting new development for the issue and one that NYRA looks forward to bringing more updates on. Nearby towns of Takoma Park and Hyattsville have both lowered their voting age to 16, and proven that this reform is good for young people, good for voter turn out and good for democracy. Washington, DC could be the next domino to fall. And it is a big one.
All DC license plates say Taxation Without Representation. While DC may not yet have voting members of Congress, by lowering the voting age to 16 they can help rectify some of that injustice.
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