Today, thousands of students across the country are walking out of class in support of common sense gun safety laws in the wake of the Parkland shooting. I’m not surprised. Student movements have always been catalysts for much needed reforms. We need only to remember the Civil Rights Movement, the fight for marriage equality, or Dreamers to see what is possible when students organize and take action. Now, in response to unacceptable gun violence on school campuses, students have had enough.
And so have we.
But students aren’t just walking out or marching today. They’re not just making a statement. These students are taking action. They’re standing up for what’s right. And they’re pre-registering and registering their siblings, their classmates, and their friends to vote.
I’m inspired by what Winter Minisee from Riverside said in a recent CNN STORY:
I think [younger people] recognize a lot of decisions made on Capitol Hill and by our state legislators are going to affect our lives the most. We understand that our elected officials work for us, whether or not we vote for them. We still have the power and the authority to demand certain things from them. We are laying out our demands so come November, and election time, we know who was listening to us and who isn’t. We can vote people out of office, and replace them with people who have our best interests in mind.
Winter, we hear you. And we’re ready to fight with you to ensure that your generation’s voice is heard.
In California, nearly 90,000 16- and 17-year olds have pre-registered to vote in the last year. Please join me in helping us get to 100,000 and more. Encourage anyone you know who is 16 years or older to pre register and register to vote, by going to registertovote.ca.gov.
Students are doing their part today. Let’s do ours and encourage every 16- and 17-year old to pre-register to vote.
California Secretary of State