Voting at 16 in San Francisco?

The following was published in the April edition of the Buffalo Gap [Texas] Roundup, a monthly publication.


Voting for 16-year-olds?
By Brian Sussman

San Francisco’s board of supervisors (often referred to as the “board of stupid-visors”) is considering a proposal to allow 16 and 17-year-olds to vote in city elections.  The nutty idea originated with a resolution put forth by the San Francisco Youth Commission which argues that 16-year-olds can drive, work, pay taxes and may be charged as adults for certain crimes, therefore they should be able to vote.

The scheme is being pushed by Supervisor John Avalos, who adds to the argument by declaring since these kids attend public schools and use other city services they should be able to cast their vote.  Avalos is confident the board of supervisors will pass the measure and put it before the voters in November.

San Francisco Chronicle columnist (and friend) Debra Saunders conducted a conference call with Avalos and Youth Commission Director, Adele Failes-Carpenter.   The latter told Saunders, “Age 16 has a special significance in our culture and our society.” Failes-Carpenter cited research suggesting 16-year-olds can “make logical decisions” about politics if given the time to assess an issue.  Kids under 18 already make contributions to city policies, she added, so the city should “extend the right to vote to 16- and 17-year-olds.”

Saunders then asked if 16-year-olds should also have the ability to legally purchase cigarettes and beer—she was cut off before having the chance to include firearms.

Avalos was appalled.

Saunders replied, “But if 16-year-olds are such good decision-makers, shouldn’t they be able to decide whether or not to smoke and drink?”

Avalos informed her that smoking and voting are two different issues and that expanding voting rights should not spill over to other activities.

Failes-Carpenter added: “San Francisco has been losing young people, has been losing families.”

Ah-ha!  And there’s the rub, folks.  These two liberals let the cat out of the bag.  This is all about expanding the leftist voting base while making a weak attempt to stave off the mass exodus of families with children in San Francisco.  Just 13.4 percent of San Francisco’s 805,235 residents are younger than 18; that is the smallest percentage of any major city in the country.

In fact, there are more dogs in San Francisco than there are children

Will pooches be considered for voting next?

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Brian Sussman

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