Get SF Weekly Newsletters

Wednesday, March 25, 2015

Supervisor John Avalos Wants 16-Year-Old Kids to Vote So They Can Also Feel Screwed by Politics

Posted By on Wed, Mar 25, 2015 at 1:52 PM

click to enlarge javalos.jpg
San Francisco City Supervisor John Avalos recently put forward a ballot measure giving 16-year-old kids the right to vote in city elections, stating that they should have the right to be just as disappointed in democracy as everyone else.

“I believe with all my heart that, if given the vote, teenagers will be every bit as satisfied with the American political system as African Americans, Hispanics, and women are,” Avalos said. “It’s their turn.”

San Francisco Youth Commissioner Julie Lichter pointed out that, in many ways, 16 year olds are already failing to influence the political process.

“Whether they’re marching ineffectually for immigration reform, signing online petitions to enact sensible gun laws, or rallying on city hall to demand an end to military action, teenagers are already politically active and thoroughly ignored by the system,” Lichter said. “Giving them the vote is one more way they can line up to be counted without actually counting – just like the politically engaged adults around them.”

“They’ve earned it,” she added.

Political observers are skeptical, saying that Avalos is merely trying to bolster the ranks of progressives in San Francisco who could vote but don’t.

“This is naked political posturing,” said Political analyst David Latterman. “Avalos is trying to enlarge the ranks of San Franciscans who would vote for progressive candidates if they were paying any attention. This is a naked ploy to enlarge the size of the voting block he’ll fail to reach on election day.”

But there is a scientific basis for the proposed change, according to Stanford cognitive psychologist Lena Fordham. “They may be young, but science shows that 16 year olds are mature enough to understand just how little power the voters actually have in our democracy,” Fordham said. “The evidence strongly suggests that, given the opportunity to participate in the political process, 16 year olds will feel the same crushing despair that nothing they do matters that mature, responsible, adults do.”

16 year olds, according to Avalos ally Supervisor Eric Mar, could become a crucial part of the failure to achieve affordable housing, reform the criminal justice system, and reduce income equality.

“They have no more hope of making a change than a 21 year old, or a 30 year old, or a 60 year old, and I find that incredibly exciting,” Mar said. “They deserve to be convinced to vote against their own interests by special interest groups, just like any American. Just like the people who voted for me.”

A spokesman for shadowy moneyed interests, speaking on background, said that he is confident that teenagers can be manipulated through viral marketing, social media, celebrity endorsements, and conventional misinformation campaigns.

“We already spend billions to manipulate teenagers,” the anonymous VP of Marketing said. “It’s kind of what we do. I’m not saying the Teen Choice Awards are any worse than the Oscars or the Grammys, but sure – teenagers. Good luck with that.”
  • Pin It

About The Author

Benjamin Wachs

Comments (2)

Showing 1-2 of 2


Comments are closed.

Popular Stories

  1. Most Popular Stories
  2. Stories You Missed

Like us on Facebook


  • clipping at Brava Theater Sept. 11
    Sub Pop recording artists 'clipping.' brought their brand of noise-driven experimental hip hop to the closing night of 2016's San Francisco Electronic Music Fest this past Sunday. The packed Brava Theater hosted an initially seated crowd that ended the night jumping and dancing against the front of the stage. The trio performed a set focused on their recently released Sci-Fi Horror concept album, 'Splendor & Misery', then delved into their dancier and more aggressive back catalogue, and recent single 'Wriggle'. Opening performances included local experimental electronic duo 'Tujurikkuja' and computer music artist 'Madalyn Merkey.'"