There are many things that Councilmember Zach Hilton and I disagree on, but reaching the young voters is not one of them. Our younger demographic must have a say in politics. However, my statement comes with a caveat. Regardless of age, the voter must be informed about the candidates running for office and the propositions on the ballot.
Voters need to know before casting a ballot: what is the candidate’s voting record, the candidate’s attendance record? Does the candidate represent the whole City or just a small minority of like-minded thinkers? Does the candidate represent and fight for what is best for the people in the city? Will you be happy living in the City with what this candidate proposes? Find out who the candidate aligns with and does that align with your values? Double check information a person reads or hears about the candidate. Know whom you are voting for.
For propositions, read the voter booklet carefully and look for words such as: “might,” “may,” “could” etc. that triggers the voter to realize the proposition is not going to do everything it claims it will do. Some propositions, like Proposition 47 passed in 2014, have hidden agendas. This proposition was referred to by its supporters as “the Safe Neighborhoods and School Act.” However, buried inside the proposition was the downgrading of drug and property offenses reducing these felonies to misdemeanors. Does this law protect neighborhoods and schools? People not carefully reading the proposition voted for it because it sounded good. See the contradiction in what political ads want you to believe and what is actually trying to get passed?
Many of the younger demographic will not be reading this Dispatch editorial. However, you are! What teachable moment can you share with the people you know to do research first and then vote?
If a person is not willing to put in the time to be an informed voter, then maybe this is not the time to vote just because someone tells you it is your right.
Gilroy City Councilmember