Thursday, August 27, 2009

North Carolina allows voter pre-registration for 16-year-olds

North Carolina lawmakers recently passed a bipartisan bill that will allow 16 and 17-year-olds to pre-register to vote (H 908). Young people will be able to register in school and at the motor vehicles department when applying for a driver's license. The bill also requires schools to provide voter registration information in students' 10th-grade civics courses, encourages school districts to promote voter registration, and it includes schools in the annual voter registration drives conducted by local election boards.

The bill was co-sponsored by, among others, the youngest Republican and the youngest Democrat in the General Assembly.

North Carolina Passes Key Youth Voting Reform

Thursday, August 20, 2009

Auckland youth pushing for representation in "supercity" governance

Members of the Auckland, Waitakere and North Shore youth councils and the Manukau and Rodney youth forums in Aukland, Australia have submitted a proposal to the local government for an Aukland City Youth Council to advise the government on matters relating to youth. Eight local councils will be merged to form one "supercity" council next year.

The youth groups are also asking that each of the local boards being proposed include youth, that the Aukland Council include a non-voting youth member, that youth consultation be required when the Council is deciding issues affecting youth, and that a youth transition agency be created to help the Council set up the Auckland Youth Council, local territorial youth councils and youth representation on local boards.

Youth want say on supercity

Thursday, August 13, 2009

International Youth Day

On the occasion of International Youth Day a number of politicians from around the world made statements about the importance of young people's participation in community leadership, politics and development. Stating one's support and actually providing that support are, of course two different things. Still, it's nice to hear (or read) politicians talking about youth participation.

Below is a sampling of news articles describing political leaders' statements on International Youth Day.

VP Reiterates Gov't Commitment to Youth Empowerment

'More youth participation needed in India's decision-making'

Youth key partner for sustainable development of world: NA Speaker
Nourishing of youth imperative to put country on path of progress: Chairman Senate
'Unutilised' youth hope for participation in decision-making

The United Nations
SUSTAINABILITY: Our Challenge. Our future.

And last but not least, testimony from an actual young person to the Commonwealth of Massachusetts Joint Committee on Election Laws:

Ethiopia/United States
Honoring International Youth Day - An Ethiopian Youth Activist's Perspective

Nigerian youth coalition demands representation on electoral commission

A coalition of students and youth organizations in Nigeria has called on the House of Representatives to adopt a constitutional amendment allowing for youth representation on the board of the country's Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC). The group, calling itself the Northern Youth Coalition on Electoral Reform, is also seeking to lower the minimum age requirement for serving in the House and Senate to 25 and 30 years, respectively.

The coalition wants to INEC board to include at least two members between the ages of 18 and 35 and points to Uganda's National Youth Statute of 1993 and Participation Act of 1995 as models for legislation.

According to the Northern Youth Coalition,
"Democracy is about numbers. Youths constitute a larger percentage of our population and so cannot be neglected. We have power in our numbers, therefore our interest must be reflected on INEC board."
Northern coalition wants representation on INEC Board

Friday, August 7, 2009

Gambian youth advocate for youth participation

Participants in the Third International Youth Summer School on Peace, which took place 24 July to 1 August in Janjangbureh, Gambia, have released an impressive statement urging NGOs, national governments and communities in Africa to support speedy implementation of the African Youth Charter. The young authors commit to continued advocacy, collaboration with their governments and other stakeholders, and continued involvement in peace education.

The document touches on disarmament, development, the media, sexual trafficking, good governance, diversity, democracy, human rights and more.

Youth advocate and Lobby For Speedy Domestication / implementation of African youth charter