California's Future Leaders
Student leaders called on Governor Schwarzenegger Thursday to sign AB 30, a bill passed by both houses of the California Legislature that would lower the voter registration age to 17. The students, from the California Association of Student Councils, held a press conference and afterwards met with Jacque Roberts, the Governor's Assistant Legislative Secretary, whom they presented with a petition signed by many other students requesting the passage of AB 30.
The Governor was unavailable for the meeting as he was attending the New America Foundation-sponsored conference in Los Angeles on climate change.
Ms. Roberts, although non-committal about the Governor's position on the bill, noted that he, as an immigrant to this country who has achieved great success in a number of realms, has a great appreciation for American participatory democracy. The Governor has until October 11 to sign or veto the bill. However, for all practical purposes, the last day for the public to weigh in with comments about AB 30 is Wednesday, October 7. At some point on Wednesday, Ms. Roberts will collect comments from the public which have been sent to the Governor's office and will include them in her report to the Governor on AB 30.
AB 30 has been the subject of a recent column in the Ventura County Star and of an op- ed in the Sacramento Bee. If passed, AB 30 would bring greater uniformity and consistency to California's voter registration laws, increase voter registration and turnout among young voters, and increase civic engagement in California high schools.