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House Joint Resolution 23 Voting age forum

Hi everyone. My name is Jester Jersey and I am a supporter of lowering the voting age.

If you just joined, I won’t make long posts like this on the forum, but use this page as an informational base regarding what the forum will be about. I’ll also add links here that are relative to the forum every now and then, and you can reach out to me or the other moderators if you have questions after you join. I hope we can all get along and work together on the common goal to lower the voting age to 16 within the United States.

Like many people who received the invite to join the forum, readers are probably aware of the current bill by Rep. Grace Meng to lower the voting age. It’s basically a reintroduction of an amendment introduced by Rep. Ayanna Pressley in the 2019 version of the bill 2 years ago. At that time, there were only days between when the amendment was introduced to when it was given a final vote. Although it unfortunately failed, H J Res 23 gives us another opportunity to change the course of history. This is what the forum you’ve been invited to will focus on.

I am one of the admins of the new forum that you just joined, called the Campaign Coalition for House Joint Resolution 23 (H J Res 23). As the namesake implies, it is an active forum where the coalition talks strategically on how to get bills like H J Res 23 passed, not one where we just discuss good arguments or put up news about lowering the voting age. We do this, and then some.

One of the things that troubled me about the movement in general is that although there are many good groups working towards this issue, there is currently very little collaboration or talks of one for HJ Res 23. Rep. Meng’s bill can have the potential to change many things for youth rights supporters- even if it only enfranchises youth at the federal level, it could bring attention to many local and state efforts.

Although it might not automatically lower the voting age in your region, I would assume it would make it easier to effect change from the top down since we would be collectively aware of a national effort rather than hundreds of separate efforts. It would be overwhelming for smaller groups and even more so for individual members to keep tracks of several dozen efforts. However, with H J Res 23, we can collaborate on a more concentrated effort because we know key players and can form one comprehensive and consolidated strategy rather than many smaller strategies and spread out resources thinly. This is probably one of the best strategies we can use right now.

As a fellow supporter, I am not saying you should abandon your local efforts to lower the voting age, whether it is a local or municipal effort. If anything, I would encourage readers to get even more involved in the efforts near you. However, if we can successfully get H J Res 23 passed, local movements can use it as a reference point to say the vote was expanded federally, so why not locally and/or statewide? It could possibly provide a domino effect and finally encourage cities to lower their voting age even if there is no local movement nearby.

Rather than working separately, we should work together across state borders so we can do something together. This is why the forum was created- to create solidarity with each other. Even though there are big groups in the movement working on the issue, compared to other issues that focus on gender equity, racial equity, even climate issues, we’re a really small group. If you add the large size of the U.S. into account, it can feel really isolating. But our common goal to lower the voting age to 16 along with Rep. Meng’s bill has the potential to unite us and help our respective movements no matter where we’re located.

I look forward to working with those who’ve joined the forum. I don’t have all the answer, and maybe you don’t either. I hope that together, with the efforts we’re involved in along with your personal contributions, organizations and network reach, we can finally, definitively answer that question on whether we should enfranchise 16-year olds, and by lowering the voting age to 16 nationally, begin address the issues that affect today’s youth!

Thank you

Jеstеr Jеrsеy

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