LOS ANGELES — Mayor Eric Garcetti today announced, alongside his Student Advisory Council on Gun Violence in Schools & Communities, that Los Angeles will join the March For Our Lives youth in their effort to organize a national voter registration day in September. The Mayor and students were joined by Captain Mark Kelly, co-founder of Giffords, for a roundtable discussion on gun laws and safety.
“Young people in Los Angeles and across America are showing incredible leadership in confronting gun violence,” said Mayor Garcetti. “I am inspired by their commitment to improving our country and the democratic process, and proud that L.A. will lead in making it easier for our youth to register, vote, and have their say in the future direction of our country."
With the announcement, L.A. became the first city in America to commit to voter registration on public high school and community college campuses before the November elections. The initiative is the product of a partnership between Mayor Garcetti, California Secretary of State Alex Padilla, March For Our Lives, the Los Angeles Community College District (LACCD) and Los Angeles Unified School District (LAUSD).
Mayor Garcetti tasked his newly-formed Student Advisory Council on Gun Violence in Schools & Communities — which grew from a meeting he hosted with local teenagers after the massacre in Parkland, Florida — with developing a campaign to reach young Angelenos and encourage pre-registration and civic engagement. The Mayor and March For Our Lives also called on mayors throughout California and across the country to take action to sign up more voters at their local high schools and community colleges.
"Mayor Garcetti and the City of Los Angeles are raising the bar for elected officials around the country," said the March For Our Lives. "Everybody deserves to be heard in our political system, especially students. By committing resources to a community-wide voter registration day on September 25, the Los Angeles Public School system and the Los Angeles Community College District are making it easier for millions of students to make their choice clear at the ballot box. It's on all of us to ensure those eligible to vote have an opportunity to do so."
“Youth are leading the charge of civic engagement in California and we now have more than 166,000 total 16 and 17 year-olds who have pre-registered to vote,” said California Secretary of State Alex Padilla. “But we are looking forward to getting to 200,000 by the Midterms and with the leadership of Mayor Garcetti and his new citywide initiative, I have no doubt we will.”
“Schools are the foundation of democracy. That’s why I’m excited to build on the L.A. Unified early voting experience of our students in the June elections,” said Board President Mónica García. “We are proud to join Mayor Garcetti to amplify student voices. Now more than ever our students are setting the direction of our nation and will elect courageous leaders and priorities.”
“Our students represent the future of Los Angeles, and we want to encourage them to use the power of their voice and their vote to build a better city,” said Los Angeles Unified School District Superintendent Austin Beutner. “Registering to vote is an important first step.”
"Civic engagement and voting are crucial for a health democracy," said LACCD Board of Trustees President Mike Fong. "We are proud to join Mayor Garcetti, March For Our Lives, and community leaders to embrace the hopes and aspirations of our students and ensure that student voices are heard at the polls. Our students are the future leaders of our communities and nation."
Following the announcement, Mayor Garcetti moderated a roundtable conversation with members of the March For Our Lives movement, who are currently on a Road to Change national tour. The roundtable included members of the Mayor's new Student Advisory Group on Gun Violence in Schools & Communities, which gives young Angelenos a platform to collaborate with City government on building a safer Los Angeles for everyone.