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Press Kit
  • Civic engagement is an essential element of community life. Civic involvement builds social capital and facilitates upward mobility for young Americans by preparing workers for employment and strengthening economic resilience.

  • The American Dream implies no matter where you start in life, you have control over where you will end up, but opportunity inequities including unemployment, low wages, poverty, lack of affordable housing, and poor internet access suggests otherwise. Civic engagement empowers the public to address issues, change policies, and improve individuals’ quality of life and community well-being.

  • American youth who do not participate in civic engagement activities are considerably more likely to be disconnected from work and school. Schools across the county need support to provide students with engaging civic education curriculum, instruction, and opportunities to participate in civic activities and simulations of democratic processes and procedures.

  • Declining participation in civic engagement means fewer opportunities for state and local governments to understand the needs and concerns of their constituents. Local decision-makers have a better sense of the public’s values, ideas, and recommendations when citizens are engaged. Community buy-in, support, and civil discussions lead to improved local agency decision-making and actions, with better impacts, outcomes, and faster project implementation.

  • California has seen a historical increase in youth civic engagement through the voting process since it introduced voter pre-registration for 16 and 17 year olds in 2016. This strategy has increased the number of youth registered to vote in California and this combined with an increase in youth advocacy saw a record number of youth vote in 2020.

  • Voting is an important element of civic engagement, but there are many ways to get involved in Santa Clara County. Volunteering, supporting community organizations, registering to vote or helping someone register, participating in public meetings, and taking part in community conversations are all great ways to get involved.

  • Since 2017 there has been an increase in youth civic engagement and advocacy around issues such as gun control, climate change, and racial justice. Youth are utilizing social media to mobilize efforts and advocate for change locally, nationally, and internationally.

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