Petitions are a fundamental tool for democratic engagement, giving individuals a collective voice to express grievances and advocate for change. They serve as a critical medium for mobilizing public opinion, influencing policymakers, and effecting social, political, or environmental reform.
Start by educating yourself and others about the importance and implications of lowering the voting age. Share informative resources and have discussions on social media platforms, blogs, or local community forums.
Attention all 16 and 17 year olds, YOU can sit in our local community boards and
have a vote! Please go to our community board page for more information.
Vote 16 NYC/NYS is all about empowering 16 and 17-year-olds in New York City. By allowing them to vote in local elections, we're encouraging them to become active citizens and make a tangible impact on policies that shape their lives. This initiative complements their civic education, giving them firsthand experience of the democratic process. It's an opportunity for NY's young people to step up, engage with their community, and actively shape the city they love.
1995: After years of observing how the youth of New York City had to contend with many problems such as inadequate education and unsafe streets, three New Yorkers-Francine Baras, C.S.W., Carol S. Michaels, Ph.D., and Diane Graszik, C.S.W.-decided to take action and launch Future Voters of America.
1997: A group of students from around New York City formed the first Youth Steering Committee, which mapped out the FVA platform that is still in use today.
1998: FVA's Steering Leadership Committee created a poll to identify the most pressing issues for youth in new York City. The poll found that safety on the streets led to the greatest concern.
1999: Future Voters launched a Safe Havens project. Choosing the Bronx as the most underserved community, FVA students worked with businesses, community police and local youth groups to allow local stores and apartment houses to create Safe Havens to protect young people in trouble on the street. FVA marked the accomplishment of opening over 50 Safe Havens by holding a celebration at Hostos Community College.
2000: On May 18th, FVA leadership reached out to Senatorial Candidate Hillary Rodham Clinton and organized a Town Hall meeting. Ms. Clinton discussed the importance of having a national youth movement and took questions from many students in the audience.
2000-2001: Inspired by a group of schools in Olathe, Kansas, FVA adopted the idea of creating an Annual New York City Youth Congress in order to give High School students a real voice in their local communities.
2003-2007: Since 2003, the Annual New York City Youth Congress has become the centerpiece of our organization. FVA leadership plans, implements, and leads the Congress. The Congress exists as a forum in which young people can articulate and debate their problems and concerns on the issues that affect their lives. The resolutions and mandates from the Congress inform our work and becomes the basis of our program and our political agenda.
2005: The 2005 Congress passed a resolution that called for the lowering of the vote to 16 in local municipal elections. Council person Gale Brewer brought this resolution to the
City Council as Introductory Bill 163 and held a press conference on the steps of City Hali to announce this landmark legislation.
2006: The agenda for the 2006 Annual Youth Congress challenged students to create compromises on their original proposal. The students opted for a compromise that would allow 16 and 17 year old's to serve on all 59 Community Boards in New York City and have a vote.
2006-2008: FVA has continued to campaign for the enfranchisement of New York City Youth through its efforts to get 16 and 17 yew old's a vote on Community Boards. Council person Gale Brewer and Manhattan Borough President Scott Stringer have spearheaded such efforts in the City Council with the introduction of Resolution 1348. The push for a youth vote on Community Boards has reached Albany. State Senator Latuahas succeeded in passing the resolution in the State Senate. State Assembly person Brian Kavanaugh has introduced a bill in the Legislature and is awaiting its passage in Fall 2008.
Subscribe to our mailing list to stay informed!