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Council Votes to Lower Minimum Age Eligibility for City Election Candidates

In last night’s meeting, the City Council voted to lower the minimum age to run as Council member and Mayor to 18. Previously, the minimum ages were 21 and 25 respectively.

Several residents came to last night to speak at the hearing on this matter before the Council took a vote on it. I want to thank everyone who came to tonight’s Public hearing and have their thoughts known to me, either supporting or opposing the Charter amendment.. I also want to thank many more residents who wrote to me and emailed me with their thoughtful comments. These comments mean a lot to me.

Before the final vote, I introduced a compromise motion with 24 as minimum age for Mayor and 20 for Council candidate. For the past several weeks, I’ve followed the debate closely and I thought setting the minimum age for Council candidates to 20 will be a win win situation for everyone. On one hand, changing the minimum age from 21 to 20 would’ve allowed many more young candidates to run for the Council, On the other hand, I thought setting it to 20 instead of 18 would’ve made our long time residents feel more comfortable with the idea that these young candidates would be spending at least 2 years in the city and know the City better and serve its residents better.

The compromise motion tied 4-4 (Kabir, Mitchell, Hew and Stullich supporting) and (Wojahn, Brennan, Dennis and Day opposing). Mayor Fellows broke the tie by voting against the motion. I want to thank the residents who supported this compromise motion.

Later I voted against the main motion (both Council and Mayor age at 18). mainly to reflect the larger sentiment I’ve seen on this issue.in our district and elsewhere in the city. The motion passed 5-3 (Wojahn, Stulich, Day, Dennis and Brennan supporting, Kabir, Mitchell and Hew opposing).

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