Before the midterm elections, youth reporters in South Kern County conducted a man-on-the-street survey, asking passersby, “Why are (or aren’t) you going to vote?” “There are tons of people in our community who can’t vote because they don’t meet the requirements. I know my vote is really important because I feel responsibility for everybody.” More responses are on South Kern Sol.
The cities of San Pablo and Richmond collaborated with community organizations to host a workshop for the Rumrill Boulevard. and 13th Street corridor redesign. Residents are reimagining Rumrill Blvd., an unofficial thruway, as a safer place for pedestrians. “I have to risk my life sometimes just to cross over… I’m happy we’re coming together as a community to make it right.” Updates on this and other city safety projects are on Richmond Pulse.
Maya Escobar was changed by a shooting that penetrated the windows of her house when she was eight years-old. As the sounds of gunshots continue, her take on the subject has evolved. “I continue to hear gunshots near my house and it makes me uncomfortable. My main fear is that one of my family members, not just me, could be in danger. Instead of feeling fear all the time, I decided that it’s better to have a plan in mind to deal with shootings.” Does having experience prepare you for the reality of gun violence in your life? Her commentary from Youth Radio.
The California Endowment has launched a project called #2Young2Vote in an effort to promote youth voices on matters of policy. We’Ced youth reporters spoke with young people who, though not yet eligible to vote, can foresee the transformative power of voting to change their communities for the better. A video with the faces and voices of future voters was produced by We’Ced.
With only a 14% of South Oak Park voters coming out for the June 2014 elections, Sacramento BHC hosted a Resource Fair and Voter Education Night to convince residents to get out and vote. The event brought different community resource agencies together with the public, providing daycare, food, and information to encourage those that came to support the greater cause. The video is on Access Sacramento.
Fresno was the seat of more action to pass Proposition 47, with organizers educating the news media about the measure in a discussion with youth, faith leaders, and students. A video captured this important meeting, which was hosted by The Know.
An example both of the neighborhood’s movement toward improving conditions in Ramona Gardens, and of the small number of people who knew about the council candidates and were able to vote, a slew of leaders began their three-year terms on November 1st. Eligible voters (those listed on their apartment lease) totaled 1,057; but The League of Women Voters, which managed the elections, said a total of 91 votes were cast for the council elections, and three votes were disqualified. The results were reported by Boyle Heights Beat.
Allex Luna, a community organizer for Inland Congregations United for Change, has worked with local youth and families doing social and political activism. A Coachella Valley native, Luna says his goal is to help people in the Eastern Coachella Valley live “dignified lives.” He has been an advocate of Proposition 47, the Reduced Penalties for Some Crimes Initiative, and talks about the measure and other issues in an interview with Coachella Unincorporated.
Several youth sites published articles and local surveys about voting in the mid-terms last Tuesday. In Long Beach, historic low voter turn out has made the voices of a select sub-group of the city’s population the resounding voice in city politics. Community organizations mobilized to get more voters to show up at the polls last Tuesday. In the meantime, nine Long Beach residents gave answers to the question, “What value do you place on voting, and why does it matter?” See more at Voicewaves.
Yesterday Californians cast their votes approving Proposition 47, which will reclassify some non-violent felonies – including petty theft and drug possession – as misdemeanors. Youth reporter Dean Welliver participated in efforts to pass the ballot measure. “As someone who believes in giving people second chances and addressing problems at the root of their causes, I believe that Proposition 47 could be a corner stone to handling crime in a more compassionate and effective way.” His commentary, called “Why I hope California votes yes on 47,” appeared before voting day, on South Kern Sol.