Today, like many of you, Californians for Justice (CFJ) staff and students are feeling a wide range of emotions. We have all poured so much of ourselves into this election, amidst the pandemic, the uprisings, and so much uncertainty. And with the presidential and statewide races being too close to call, millions of votes still left to be counted, ‘it’s hard to feel any closure. However, we are prepared for this moment and remain hopeful that we will win.
We are seeing victories. This election, CFJ and youth organizations across California showed how critical the electoral power of youth of color is at the polls.
- Youth organizers mobilized for a historic turnout from young voters. Voter registrations for Gen Z in California have nearly tripled since 2016 — from more than 800,000 to over 2.4 million.
- We saw big wins on the expansions of voting rights to 16 and 17 including Oakland’s Measure QQ led by Oakland Kids First and allies like CFJ. This will expand voting rights for all 16 and 17 year olds to vote in Oakland Unified school board elections.
- Measure US in Long Beach — led by Khmer Girls in Action, CFJ is proud to be a steering committee member to put the measure on a path to win. It will bring new funding to the city for equity and youth program initiatives.
Our youth leaders and allies also squared off against some of California’s largest and wealthiest corporations in the fight to pass Prop 15 and secure billions each year for our schools and communities. Over the last year, CFJ leaders worked non stop collecting 1,400 signatures to secure Prop 15’s spot on the November ballot, contacting over 13,000 voters on the phones across the state and mobilizing friends and families to vote Yes on Prop 15.
Right now, the Prop 15 results are too close to call with more than 4 million votes left to count, but no matter what happens next we’re incredibly proud of the youth power that mobilized for this historic campaign. Throughout CFJ’s 25 years of existence it’s always been clear that Black, Indigenous youth of color are the leaders of our movement for a liberated world. We are unafraid and determined to fight for transformative change in California.
Let’s all take time to celebrate the work we’ve done and rest up because we still have a lot of work ahead. In the coming weeks, we must #DefendDemocracy by making sure our government does #CountEveryVote. Some action steps you can take right now are:
Our base is getting bigger, our coalition is growing stronger and our movement is affecting real change. Together we are transforming California into our vision of racial justice and liberation.
Stay tuned for updates and what is next for CFJ.
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