Public Safety

Youth Council Encourages Classmates, Community to Vote

Public Defender Youth Council student members were out this month encouraging young people and adults to register to vote.

Voting is about making everyone’s voice mean something. That’s why the San Diego County Public Defender Youth Council has been out doing non-partisan voter outreach at their high schools and in their communities this month.

“Youth council members have spent their past two weekends asking people to register to vote and pledge to vote,” said Public Defender Randy Mize. “Connecting in this way shows adults that young people understand that active citizenship can impact the community for the better.  Outreach on the importance of voting from those not old enough to vote is a powerful example of our strong youth voice.”

In addition to helping register adults at community locations, students are pre-registering youth who are nearing voting age at their high schools and talking about why it is important to vote.

“At my school, voting is kind of a big thing and people are looking forward to voting because they didn’t like the outcome of this (last) election,” said Devonne Williams, 14, a freshman at East Village High School. “I feel like (the voter outreach project) is a good cause because it shows it is a responsibility to register to vote. It’s a way to make sure your voice is heard and to do something to determine how your life turns out.”

The youth council is made up of 23 students at downtown area high schools who are interested in civic engagement. The students work with the Public Defender’s Office to develop projects that will make a difference in the community.

Connie Howard, of the Public Defender’s Office, said in addition to the service to the community, this project shows the students in the youth council that their voice matters and builds confidence.

“Youth civic engagement is empowering for youth and communities,” Howard said.

Yvette Urrea Moe is a communications specialist with the County of San Diego Communications Office. Contact