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Democracy NYC: Mayor de Blasio Announces Registration of Over 10,000 New Student Voters as a Result of Student Voter Registration Drive

June 27, 2018

NEW YORK––Mayor de Blasio today announced that the City has registered over 10,000 first-time student voters as part of the Administration’s student voter registration drive. The over 10,000 students attend 294 schools across the five boroughs. The student registration effort is part of Mayor de Blasio’s 10-point democracy agenda known as DemocracyNYC, which aims to increase civic engagement and strengthen democracy locally and nationally.

“Our students are the future leaders of our country, and they should, at an early age, realize the power their voices hold in reshaping America,” said Mayor Bill de Blasio. “These 10,000 new student voters will help strengthen our democratic process for years to come. I encourage all students to continue registering to vote and show up at the polls – because this is your country and your voice matters.”

“I’m thrilled that over 10,000 of our NYC students registered on the first citywide Student Voter Registration Day and now can make their voices heard in our democratic process,” said Schools Chancellor Richard A. Carranza. “Preparing our students to be the active, engaged citizens of today and tomorrow is the bread and butter of what we do as educators, and I look forward to building on the success of SVRD through our new Civics for All initiative.”

“Where young people lead, change follows,” said Deputy Mayor for Strategic Policy Initiatives Phil Thompson. “Our future depends on engaging more young people in the democratic process. Registering 10,000 students to vote is an important step forward. Now more than ever, we need to work together to make it easier for all New Yorkers to vote, become civically engaged and lead change in their communities and the nation.”

“I registered to vote because my voice matters,” said Chantelle Perez, first-time voter and student at the High School of Health Professions and Human Services. “Voting is one of the many ways I know I can address the issues that matter to me. I hope that all my classmates and all students in New York City realize this and become active in our democracy.”

“Young people are making their voices heard like never before and it’s up to us to help them connect the issues they care about most to voting. Student Voter Registration Day was launched to make that connection and to take voter registration, the critical first step in democratic participation, directly to youth. The 10,000 students who registered to vote on this single day of action, demonstrate just how excited the next generation of voters is to participate in civic life and their democracy. We thank the community based organizations who committed volunteers to registering students on SVRD and starting thousands of young people on a path of lifelong engagement.” said Onida Coward Mayers, Director of Voter Assistance at the NYC Campaign Finance Board, which supported the SVRD effort through its voter engagement initiative, NYC Votes.

Other aspects of DemocracyNYC include increasing cybersecurity, reforming election laws at the State level, registering new voters and ensuring an accurate census count, among other initiatives.

"Young people have the greatest stake in the decisions government makes because the consequences will shape their world. That's why I feel so strongly about including young people in the work of government through our Community Boards, and that's why I believe efforts to register students to vote are so important," said Manhattan Borough President Gale A. Brewer. "I thank the mayor, the chancellor, and the many agencies and advocacy organizations that helped us reach this milestone."

“Voter turnout in New York is a national embarrassment, and it’s the role of government to ensure that all New Yorkers have the opportunity to exercise their constitutionally guaranteed right to vote. Student registration is a pragmatic measure that helps, not only with voter turn-out, but a lifetime of civic engagement. I applaud Mayor Bill de Blasio for registering over 10,000 new student voters," said State Senator Brad Hoylman.

“We have seen young people in our city and across the nation continuing to take a leading role on the biggest issues facing our city, our country, and our society, and we are a stronger city as a result. Registering over 10,000 of our city’s students to vote is a sign that our young people have the courage and the perspicacity to stand up for their beliefs and an appreciation for how important it is that they become active participants in our democracy. I commend Mayor de Blasio for championing the DemocracyNYC initiative and for his commitment to creating a more civically engaged New York City,” said Council Member Mark Treyger.

“New York City leads the way on student civic engagement. Student Voter Registration Day (SVRD) is a model program that should be exported nationwide,” said Susan Lerner, Executive Director for Common Cause New York.

“Voting is the root of equality. Through exercising our right to register and to vote, students stand up for the City and the future they want to see. Students working with NYPIRG are proud to be a part of the effort to register over 10,000 new students voters during this drive," said Jennifer Jerome, NYPIRG Board of Directors member and CUNY NYC College of Technology student.

"Brooklyn Voters Alliance is an all-volunteer organization committed to helping all New Yorkers exercise their fundamental right to vote. We were thrilled to register students at Brooklyn's FDR High School on Student Voter Registration Day and to celebrate their rite of passage as new voters. Designating a day for citywide student voter registration shows NYC’s young people that their voices are important, voting is powerful and our City values their civic participation,” said Amanda Ritchie, Executive Committee Member of the Brooklyn Voters Alliance.

"Young people have the power to use the ballot box to make their voices heard and transform their communities," said Judith Joseph Jenkins, Esq., President, East Kings County Alumnae Chapter of Delta Sigma Theta Sorority, Inc. "We are thrilled that our student voter registration drive in conjunction with the City of New York and other community organizations resulted in 10,000 students registering to vote. Our organization has long recognized that voting is a fundamental right. Indeed, the first public act of the Sorority was participation in the Women's Suffrage March in 1913. Since then, our membership has worked tirelessly to enable others to vote. East Kings County Alumnae Chapter serves some of the neediest communities in our city. We know that voting is a critical vehicle to get much needed services, particularly in marginalized communities. Our student voter registration efforts are a continuation of our Sorority's legacy of social justice and service."

“It’s so important that we break down barriers to civic participation and voter education among NYC youth—our future leaders. Every time one of our youth realizes their influence, it’s a win for our democracy. I applaud the mayor’s decision to expand this program and look forward to its continued success in Brooklyn,” said Xamayla Rose, Co-Founder Christopher Rose Community Empowerment Campaign (CRCEC).

“The SVRD initiative was exciting. The students at Forest Hills High School were amazing. Over 400 students registered to voter and pledged to be involved. We saw that Youth can play an important role as trainers for state and local government, by providing a youth perspective and strategies for engaging youth in policy and government affairs,” said NAACP-NYCHA Branch President Lynn Spivey.

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