By Perla Brito
CALIFORNIA – High voter turnout among youth of color in California shows, according to a recent poll, young voters from Santa Ana, Richmond, Merced, Coachella, and the cities in between are coming together to address the issues that affect them most — creating a voting bloc.
They are motivated by issues such as housing insecurity, inflation, the risk of cost of living, and guaranteed access to abortion care, said Power California, which conducted a youth poll that revealed 87 percent of youth voters agreed the cost of living is increasing rapidly compared to wages.
The poll also revealed three out of five youth voters had to make a decision between paying rent or another utility bill. One quarter of youth voters missed paying rent in the past year or had to move back in with their family.
Among youth of color, Black youth are dealing with the struggle of finding stable housing more than Latinx and AAPI youth, according to the youth poll, with more than one in five Black youth voters sleeping in a car or shelter in the past year, while 12 percent of Latinx and eight percent of AAPI youth voters slept in a car or shelter in the past year.
Astrid Morales of Power California said, “Young voters of color know our vote is our voice.”
Morales added, “this is why we are mobilizing our families and communities, because we know we are key to determining what happens in Congress, the state legislature, and in our hometowns and cities throughout California. By coming together as a powerful group, we can make our leaders work for us and deliver the thriving communities we deserve.”
These are day-to-day challenges, said Power California, that cause youth of color to voice their demands through their vote.
PC added youth voters of color all over California are coming out to support what they believe in: reproductive freedom, local rent control initiative, and other growing policies, including a strategy to make corporations, landlords, and billionaires accountable for the damage they have caused.