For Immediate ReleaseApril 07, 2023
Student Ambassadors schedule youth town hall with Marin mayors on April 23
San Rafael, CA – Marin County has an excellent track record of voter participation, regularly ranking among the top counties in California for voter turnout. Getting young people interested in the electoral process is a major priority, and the local Student Elections Ambassador Program (SEAP) is at the forefront of that challenge.
SEAP is hosting a youth town hall meeting from 2-4 p.m. Sunday, April 23, at the Marin County Board of Supervisors chamber at the Civic Center (3501 Civic Center Drive) in San Rafael. Registration is open.
The youth town hall is designed to encourage young people to become civically engaged ahead of the 2024 election cycle. The event will include a dialogue with a panel of Marin town and city mayors, followed by a Q&A session. Participants will meet other civic-minded individuals and have an opportunity to network with the mayors. Spanish translation will be provided.
Founded in 2018, SEAP is a youth voter outreach program sponsored by the Marin County Elections Department, the League of Women Voters of Marin County (LWVMC), and the Marin County Office of Education (MCOE). SEAP Student Ambassadors are trained about the importance of youth voter participation and the registration process before fanning out to educate their peers. Roughly 120 Student Ambassadors have preregistered and registered more than 1,000 new and future voters in Marin in the past four years. However, youth voter turnout in Marin still lags behind other age groups.
Student Ambassador Ella Clark remembers when tech business leader, political activist, and former U.S. Senate candidate Duf Sundheim said, “Kids don’t vote because they think politicians don’t care; politicians don’t care because kids don’t vote.”
“This event is to show youth that they have a voice in our government,” Clark said. “It’s not this foreign power making decisions about you without you. We want kids to know their voice matters and put them in front of people who will listen and can enact change.”
Gabrielle Tierney is a steering committee member for SEAP and LWVMC. She said it’s time to seize an opportunity to discuss ways to increase interest and participation by eligible teen and college-age voters.
“I think a more diverse and expansive electorate equates to a more engaged community,” Tierney said. “That results in better outcomes at all levels of governance, from volunteers up through elected officials. I also think most voter registration activities are geared toward an older set of eligible adults, resulting in the lack of connection with newly eligible students.”
The Youth Town Hall falls the day after Earth Day — the “perfect way to celebrate” the youth ambassadors said.
“It is the youth who will inherit the consequences of climate change, and we are the ones who will have to face the long-term effects,” said Alysha Lee, a Student Ambassador. “Our Youth Town Hall is designed to provide young people a voice in shaping the future of our planet and to ensure that policies are in place to protect the environment and safeguard the well-being of future generations.”
Snacks, refreshments, and giveaway items will be provided at the Youth Town Hall. The Board chamber is in Suite 330, directly below the Civic Center’s dome on the third floor. The best parking opportunity will be near the South Archway on Peter Behr Drive. (Note that the event’s 2 p.m. start time is one hour after the scheduled end of the Civic Center Sunday Farmers Market). The Civic Center SMART station is about a 10-minute walk from the Board chamber.
Find event information at MarinVotes.org and watch the SEAP Instagram page @MarinSEAP. Interested in being a Student Ambassador? Find the application on the Elections Department website.
Lynda RobertsRegistrar of VotersElections Department
Marin Civic Center Administration Building3501 Civic Center DriveSuite 121San Rafael, CA 94903(415) 473-6401Email: Lynda RobertsElections website