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No Taxation without Representation: Time to Mobilize!

As the globe just marked the second year we have been affected by the pandemic, entering into our third as of last month, youth continue to be affected by ageist policies. The world continues to contend with the pandemic in some parts, while in many places youth still contribute to local economies, even during the pandemic, without being able to vote. Sadly, this continues even in the United States. Yesterday, April 15th, was Income Tax Day. Despite many young people working even in this pandemic environment, paying taxes locally on the wages they have earned, they have yet to get a vote. House Joint Resolution 23 can change this.

Right now, there are many organizations in the United States trying to address this issue. Some have been working only recently, in the last few years, while others have been around for decades. Others have been working locally, often at a local municipality capacity, while others also work nationally, sometimes on a regional basis. In some cases, we even have international allies we work with who are supportive of our efforts. However, it has only been in the last year that efforts to organize all these efforts to work together to collaborate on House Joint Resolution 23.

House Joint Resolution 23 still awaits a vote in the House of Representatives, while many groups working to collaborate on the issue await the time to take an active approach. I continue to monitor the progress often and keep our network of allies up to date on any developments. Whether or not this bill passes will depend on whether all supporters of lowering the voting age to 16 in the United States work together or not. In the case of the former, we just might have a chance at changing democracy for the better, like so many other nations that have already enfranchised youth. In the case of the latter, youth making contributions now, including areas hit hard by the pandemic, or where youth-specific issues are most prevalent, will continue to go without a vote for years, when these issues may not be as relevant but still affecting their younger peers. These issues will always affect someone, and right now, we have the tools, resources and allies to remedy this for youth in the short term while also making democracy better in the long term.

I would like to keep in touch with others if you’re not already in touch. House Joint Resolution 23 is an important piece of legislation that could help our efforts locally, regionally and nationally, at a time when youth are also affected by the pandemic, contributing towards those efforts while also still trying to address issues of ageism, like taxation without representation, climate change, school safety issues as some regions return to an in-person school environment and many other issues that supporters of lowering the voting age have been supporting since calls began to support expanding democracy to unenfranchised youth.

We have an opportunity to change the political landscape. Just like how we are obligated to do what we can to participate in our democracy, we should also do what we can to make voting easier, more accessible to our future leaders.

As House Joint Resolution 23 awaits a vote, we need to continually strategize effectively until we can get the bill passed when it does come up for a vote. For this reason, I and other allies will be reaching out to both groups and individuals, no matter how what efforts you’re working on or how large your groups are. Any help makes a difference. No movement is too small to make a difference in this effort.

If one person can make a difference, then we can achieve greater success on this issue if we work together. It is important that we share our resources and skills to work together to get this bill passed. Please get in touch with me if you we’re not already in communication with each other. We cannot let this important opportunity slip by!

Jеstеr Jеrsеy


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