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November 3, 2020 — California General Election
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Local

City of Oakland
Measure QQ Charter Amendment - Majority Approval Required

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Shall a measure amending the City of Oakland Charter to authorize the City Council, by adoption of an ordinance, to authorize persons aged 16 and above, who are otherwise eligible to vote under state and local law, to vote for the Office of School Board Director, be adopted?

What is this proposal?

Measure Details — Official information about this measure

YES vote means

A “yes” vote will approve the measure.

NO vote means

 A “no” vote will reject the measure.

Summary

City of Oakland

Currently, persons under the age of 18 cannot vote in Oakland school board elections.  This measure would give the Oakland City Council authority to lower the voting age for Oakland school board elections from 18 to 16.  Specifically, the City Council would be authorized to adopt an ordinance allowing persons aged 16 and 17 to vote for the Office of School Board Director.  This measure would not allow the City Council to change any other voter eligibility requirements under state law.  

This measure was placed on the ballot by the Oakland City Council. Passage of this measure requires an affirmative vote of a majority of voters (i.e., more than 50% of the votes cast).  A “yes” vote will approve the measure; a “no” vote will reject the measure. 

 

Impartial analysis / Proposal

Barbara J. Parker City Attorney

Currently, persons under the age of 18 cannot vote in Oakland school board elections. This measure would give the Oakland City Council authority to lower the voting age for Oakland school board elections from 18 to 16. Specifically, the City Council would be authorized to adopt an ordinance allowing persons aged 16 and 17 to vote for the Office of School Board Director. This measure would not allow the City Council to change any other voter eligibility requirements under state law. 

This measure was placed on the ballot by the Oakland City Council. Passage of this measure requires an affirmative vote of a majority of voters (i.e., more than 50% of the votes cast). A "yes'· vote will approve the measure; a "no" vote will reject the measure. 

Barbara J. Parker City Attorney

 

 

Financial effect

 

Since this measure merely authorizes the City Council to adopt an ordinance allowing persons aged 16 and 17 to vote for the Office of School Director, the measure, by itself, does not have a direct fiscal impact.

If the measure passes, and if the City Council adopts such an ordinance in the future, the City would incur minor costs associated with allowing persons aged 16 and 17 to vote for the Office of School Board Director. We estimate the City would incur additional costs of approximately $7,000 - $10,000, in years in which Oakland school board elections are held.

The additional costs include higher election costs paid to the Alameda County Registrar of Voters and additional printing costs related to the increase in registered voters. Our estimate is based on the Oakland School Board election costs, paid by the City, for the 2018 General Municipal Election.  Since the earliest that voters aged 16 and 17 could vote in Oakland School Board elections is November 2022 (two years after the November 2020 election), we would expect these costs to be slightly higher due to inflation.

Information in our independent analysis represents the best information available at the time of this analysis. 

Published Arguments — Arguments for and against the ballot measure

Arguments FOR

ARGUMENT IN FAVOR OF MEASURE YOUTH VOTE 

Vote Yes on Measure QQ - Everyone Deserves Representation 

Everyone should have a say in the decisions made by elected officials that impact their lives. Oakland students are directly impacted by the priorities and policies of the Oakland Unified School District but currently have no representation on decisions about critical issues like school safety, student discipline, nutrition, academic success, and their future.  

They need and deserve a voice. Measure QQ would ensure Oakland students have representation by granting Oakland youth ages 16 and 17 the right to vote in School Board elections.  

Fostering the next generation of responsible participants in our democracy has never been more important. This measure would enfranchise thousands of new voters each school board election, many of whom come from our most marginalized communities. By empowering our young adults to vote in local school board elections, Oakland is cultivating informed and civically engaged voters for years to come. 

Other cities in the United States that allow 16 and 17-year-olds to vote have seen incredible results. After Takoma Park, MD lowered its voting age for the 2013 election, turnout among 16 and 17-year-olds was higher than any other age group. Berkeley has also approved a similar measure. Oakland’s youth are at the forefront of movements regarding gun violence, environmental justice, and Black Lives Matter. They need representation to advocate for themselves where it impacts them most: their education.  

Many of our community’s young people work, pay taxes, and help support their families – all while facing challenges we could never imagine. They deserve the right to vote. 

Vote for Oakland’s youth and show them that we believe in them. 

Join California State Superintendent of Schools Tony Thurmond, Senator Nancy Skinner, Oakland City Council, Assemblymember Rob Bonta, Wellstone Democratic Club, and vote yes on Measure QQ.  

More information at www.OaklandYouthVote.org 

s/ Abdi Soltani Executive Director, ACLU of Northern California 

s/ Lukas Brekke-Miesner Executive Director, Oakland Kids First 

s/ Keith Brown President, Oakland Education Association 

s/ James Harris School Board Director, Oakland Unified School District 

s/ Rebecca Kaplan Oakland City Councilmember 

Read the proposed legislation

Proposed legislation

Section 1106. Youth Voting In School Board Elections. Notwithstanding  anything to the contrary in this Charter, the City Council, by adoption of an ordinance, may authorize persons aged 16 and above, who are otherwise eligible to vote under state law, to vote for the Office of School Board Director;

Who gave money?

To see who is funding ballot measures in Oakland, visit Open Disclosure Oakland.

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Who supports or opposes this measure?

Yes on Measure QQ
Organizations (0)
Elected & Appointed Officials (0)
No on Measure QQ
Elected & Appointed Officials (0)

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