CA — The midterms are coming up, and a lot of people are watching California. Makes sense — the state has the biggest population in the country and more than 19 million registered voters. Many of those voters are young people — some of them voting for the first time. And the recent Power California poll says young Californians (ages 16-24) rank voting as the single most effective way to create the changes they seek—above volunteering, protesting, or social media.
Here's what some young people from all around the state say about why they are voting and what they care about most in this election cycle.
Alex Medina, 18, Los Angeles
"Voting is very important because you're not only fulfilling one of your crucial civic responsibilities, but you're also making sure that your voice is being heard."
Sierra Fang-Horvath, 18, Oakland
“I believe that more voting-age teens need to take their futures into their own hands by vocalizing their beliefs through civic action.”
Ivan Caballero, 19, Sacramento
“An issue in this election cycle that I think is very important is the DACA situation. Youth have the voting power to influence if DACA is here to stay or not. Important issues like this affect everyone, and I think votes can make a big difference.”
Famo Musa, 18, San Diego
“I became a citizen at the end of last year, so this is going to be my first election. I have always felt powerless and left out of the decision making, but since I turned 18, now I feel like my voice is going to finally count. Voting is important because it gives you control and you get to choose who to put in power, who to lead the power, and who has the potential to get that job done.”
Nia Thompson, 19, Long Beach
“This election, much like any other, is important because it directly affects not only me but the general public at large. I believe it is critical to not only care about how policies and bills will alter you and your loved ones’ lives, but those who are underprivileged and underrepresented. They are the people who deserve and count on our votes and empathy the most.”
Maryalexis Gutiérrez, 17, Richmond
“Voting is a powerful right that we all are lucky to have. Being 17, I’m not allowed to vote yet but there are so many things that I would vote for if I were able to. My vote is my voice. The youth matter in elections and it’s up to us to determine our future… If I were able to vote right now, I would! We have to take action to make our community — our world — better.”
Olivia Rodriquez, 25, Coachella
“I vote for my community. To vote for people that will represent us at every level and prioritize our communities’ issues that will ensure a better life for my parents, my neighbors, and many in our nation whose voices have yet to be fully acknowledged in our democratic system.”
Jane Carretero, 19, Fresno
“I choose to use my vote in hopes of making a progressive future in which all have a chance to thrive.”