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Maryland cities Hyattsville, Greenbelt, and Riverdale Park followed suit a few years later; and in 2016, Berkeley, CA, Oakland’s neighbor, voted to lower the voting age to 16 for school board elections.

During and immediately before the 2019 Oakland teacher strike, I helped organize and participated in student demonstrations to protest our school board’s cuts to student programs and services.

(Teen Vogue has reached out to the Oakland Unified School District for comment.)

In response, Oakland student organizers testified, wrote letters, drafted legislation, and secured 300 endorsements before putting a successful resolution before the Oakland City Council to put the youth vote on the ballot.

This month, Oakland voters passed Measure QQ by wide margins to join the handful of cities across the nation that allow 16- and 17-year-olds to vote in school board elections, the culmination of years of work by a coalition of Oakland student organizations.

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