© 2024 WBGO
Discover Jazz...Anywhere, Anytime, on Any Device.
Play Live Radio
Next Up:
0:00 0:00
Available On Air Stations

Newark City Council to vote on allowing 16-and 17-year-olds to vote for school board

Newark Board of Education

The Newark City Council will vote soon on whether to allow 16- and 17-year-old students to vote for the city’s school board.

Larry Hamm of the People’s Organization for Progress said the vote should be a resounding yes. “I think it will bring us closer to the youngest segment of our population and make our political system more sensitive to their needs,” he said.

Hamm, politically active since high school, was appointed to the Newark Board of Ed when he was 17. The vote is set for Jan. 10. Elections to the board are held in April.

Council President LaMonica McIver said it’s impossible to overstate the importance of this. “The students have an opportunity and the ability to select the leaders who are gonna govern their education and make decisions on their education,” she said, adding that there will also be an educational component to this, with workshops so students can learn how the school system is run, and hopefully, with the return of a subject that isn’t taught anymore.

“We have been meeting with the state and local level legislative bodies to talk about implementing civics back into the schools. They removed civics quite some time ago,” said McIver.

Janice Kirkel is a lifelong award-winning journalist who has done everything from network newscasts to national and local sports reports to business newscasts to specialized reporting and editing in technical areas of business and finance such as bankruptcy, capital structure changes and reporting on the business of the investment business.