We are a group of high schoolers along with Councilman David Contract of Westfield who
believe that 16 and 17-year-olds should have a right to vote in local elections. We have
the right to drive, the right to work, the obligation to pay income taxes
and we even have the right to register to vote at 17. But we can’t vote until 18. This
doesn’t make sense to us, and we need you to change help us change this in NJ.
Yenjay Hu is a co-founder and executive director of Vote16NJ. Now a senior at Westfield High School, he has been involved in various political campaigns, including former Congressman Malinowski’s reelection campaign. Additionally, he has interned for Senator Booker and the Hoboken Strategy Group firm.
Sam Altman is a senior at Westfield High School. He joined Vote16NJ due to a issue in his town with athletic fields, where the lack of input or political power by students upset him. Besides Vote16NJ, he is deeply involved in local politics, whether that is campaigning or influencing policy.
Anjali Krishnamurti is a freshman at Harvard University. She is also a co-founder and executive director of Vote16NJ. When she is not participating in politics, Anjali runs the nonprofit Metamorphic Mentoring, which provides free mentoring services to young people in her community.
The Institute’s cutting-edge racial and social justice advocacy seeks to empower people of color by building reparative systems that create wealth, transform justice and harness democratic power—from the ground up—in New Jersey.
Known for our dynamic and independent advocacy aimed at toppling load-bearing walls of structural inequality to create just, vibrant and healthy communities, we are committed to exposing and repairing the cracks of structural racism in our foundation that erupt into earthquakes in communities of color.
The Institute advocates for systemic reform that is at once transformative, achievable in the state and replicable in communities across the nation.
Our mission is to achieve equity, political rights, and social inclusion by advancing policies and practices that expand human and civil rights, eliminate discrimination, and accelerate the well-being, education, and economic security of Black people and all persons of color.
How do we do this?
First and foremost, we need support from youth from around New Jersey. We are intelligent, civically engaged individuals who will use the right to vote to better future elections. Therefore, we need as much support and action taken from different schools around the state to demonstrate support. It doesn't matter if you're a Republican, Democrat, or independent. We need to lower the voting age for the representation of young people! We are also looking to expand our coalition and build partnerships.