OAKLAND (CBS SF) — Oakland teens are one step closer to voting in school board elections following the City Council’s decision Tuesday to put the idea on the November ballot.

City councilmembers voted unanimously for the idea, and if voters approve it, 16- and 17-year-olds will have the right to vote for school board directors.

The change would make Oakland the sixth city in the country to lower the voting age to 16 in some way. Berkeley is one of the six and San Francisco is considering a similar idea.

It was action by youth leaders in Los Angeles recently that inspired Oakland youth to start working on the idea, said Lukas Brekke-Miesner with Oakland Kids First, a group that provides a voice and power for youth in schools.

When Oakland youth learned that L.A. youth were exploring the idea of youth voting in school board elections, they asked, “Could we do that here?” Brekke-Miesner said.

Oakland youth went a step further by taking the idea to city councilmembers.

If the youth convince enough voters to vote for the charter amendment, the earliest the youth would vote in school board elections is 2022.

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