Legislation that would enable citizens as young as 16 years of age to vote has come to the D.C. Council table, and it is being backed by 7 of the council’s 13 members.
Not since 1971 has the government approved a change in the federal legal voting age. It was that year that Washington legally established the 18th birthday as the precedent for Americans to be able to exercise their Constitutional and democratic right to participate in choosing leadership.
Last week Democrat Charles Allen challenged the status quo when he pushed forward a proposal to lower the voting age in time for the 2020 election cycle. A bill shaped to Allen’s liking would not only change the age for federal elections, but for local elections. It is a move that he has confessed he’s been inspired to advocate for thanks to how politically engaged the active youth of the “March for Our Lives” were last month in the nation’s capital.
“At the age of 16, our society already gives young people greater legal responsibility. They can drive a car. They can work. Some are raising a family or helping their family make ends meet. They pay taxes … And yet, they can’t exercise their voice where it matters most — at the ballot box,” Councilmember Allen said.
Dee Beasley is the founder and Editor-in-Chief of FreshAsFrankie.com. After starting out as a musician-producer he went on to study the music business and work in Urban Promotions, followed by artist management. Mr. Beasley entrepreneurial spirit has led him to launch numerous businesses in music and fashion marketing. He’s a huge fan of the ’80s and ’90s Hip Hop and R&B, and he’s a firm believer that Hip Hop Music will never die.