A graphic used to announce the Juneteenth observance. Although it was on Sunday, June 19th, it is observed on Monday, the 20th.(photo source)
Today’s blog might be redundant, but the continued fight for basic civil rights bears repeating. On this Juneteenth observance day, one should remember many in society today that were not afforded voting, democratic rights simply because of their status in life. These include gender, racial/ethnicity factors, ownership of property and many other disqualifying factors.
Even in an era where Martin Luther King Jr., Rosa Parks, Elizabeth Cady Stanton and other civil rights pioneers are household names, and many people are now beginning to realize the importance of Juneteenth observations, democracy still isn’t a democracy unless those who have a stake in not only current events get a voice, but future events as well. Today, that new frontier of enfranchisement is getting the vote for those 16 years old who have been paying taxes to the government towards the income they earn; being affected by many global issues that they will inherit as democratic leaders; & being the ones to need to find solutions to these problems that current leaders may either be unable to or unwilling to solve at this time, only to pass the buck to the generation after them without care to pass on their insight and even resources to address.
Rather than going through all the reasons why expanding youth enfranchisement is important, I should remind readers that there are already 45 previous editions of this monthly blog that discusses the merits, advantages to democracy as well as the overall improvement of democracy that shows why we should lower the voting age to 16.
All throughout the world, individual movements are beginning to gather to see how we can best coordinate those efforts. As last month’s blog shows, there is a global collaborative working together across various regions to see how we can best help each other.
If the people we’re helping to enfranchise now, and conversely working with us to help enfranchise themselves, are one day going to be the same people working to make the world a better place in their respective regions around the world, then the efforts we’re working on now to lower the voting age should be one of the ways we can participate in the democratic process as well as train future leaders on how to work with their global counterparts.