Union resolutions

Resolution for initiative on voter registration

WHEREAS, there are approximately 250,000 students in New York City public high schools; and

WHEREAS, voting in local, state and federal elections is a core right of citizenship and a principal vehicle to ensure the United States remains a government by and for the people; and

WHEREAS, the 26th Amendment lowering the voting age to 18 was ratified and added to the United States Constitution, and

WHEREAS, New York State requires all high schools students to take and pass a course in Participation in Government in order to achieve a high school diploma; and

WHEREAS, according to the Center for Information and Research on Civic Learning and Engagement, 16.9 million youth voters became eligible in 2016 to vote in their first presidential election; and

WHEREAS, data from the Pew Research Center indicates that people between the ages of 18-35 are now as large of a political force as Baby Boomer generation, comprising 31 percent of the overall electorate; and

WHEREAS, the New York City Board of Elections reported that voter turnout in New York City was 55.98 percent during the 2016 general election; and

WHEREAS, a majority of eligible New York City teens do not register to vote, or exercise their right to vote; and

WHEREAS, the lack of participation in the electoral process deprives individuals and communities of agency, voice and representation; and

WHEREAS, as leaders in struggle for educational justice and labor rights, the United Federation of Teachers has the responsibility to educate and empower working people, students and citizens of New York City and this country; therefore, be it

RESOLVED, that the United Federation of Teachers will embark on a voter-registration drives for eligible New York City High School students and others eligible to vote in New York City; and be it further

RESOLVED, that the UFT will seek to work with our community and civil rights partners to increase voter education, registration and participation; and be it further

RESOLVED, that the UFT will educate, assist and empower those in New York City who are not eligible to vote on matters regarding individual rights and safety as well as roles and responsibilities of active citizen engagement.

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