Christopher High School Principal Jeremy Dirks, at left in the above photo, and Gilroy Unified School District Superintendent Debbie Flores, at right above, welcomed California Secretary of State Alex Padilla, sitting to the left of Gilroy Mayor Roland Velasco, to a voter registration rally at the school Sept. 26. Padilla told the more than 400 juniors and seniors at the rally of his humble beginnings, and how much voting meant to him and his immigrant family in Southern California. Padilla said he got his Gilroy Strong T-shirt especially for the rally, which was part of High School Voter Education Weeks, Sept. 16-27 across the state.
The Santa Clara County Registrar of Voters sent a special mobile voter registration to Gilroy for the event, and approximately 40 students pre-registered to vote using a Voter Registration Card.
In preparation for the March 3, 2020 Presidential Primary, Padilla encouraged all eligible 16- and 17-year-olds to pre-register to vote. Once pre-registered, their registration will automatically activate when they turn 18. He also invited the students to volunteer to aid in the 2020 Census in California.
In 2018, Padilla launched a High School Civic Engagement Portal, HighSchool.sos.ca.gov. High school students can learn more about pre-registration, find out how to be a student poll worker, get resources to host a student mock election on their campuses and learn how to organize voter registration drives.