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Politics: If not marijuana, can an old-fashioned political brawl boost the youth vote?


If Proposition 19, which would have legalized the possession and cultivation of marijuana, couldn't get younger voters to the polls during November's midterm election, does the March 8 election even have a prayer? While younger voters should care about pensions (Measure G) and whether or not the DWP's being sketchy with its annual rate increases (Measure J), many just aren't there yet -- much less planning about what they will care about in the future.

When L.A. City Council President Eric Garcetti met with the editorial board in January, he spoke a bit about engaging the younger demo in local politics. He discussed leveraging social media (he's nominated for a Shorty Award) and initiating such special projects as "Operation Pothole" to get the community involved.

But, in the case of the upcoming election, it may just be the nasty, scandalous race for the City Council's 14th District seat between incumbent Jose Huizar and Rudy Martinez (you may know him from A&E's "Flip This House") that gets tongues wagging all the way to the polls.

In Tuesday's Opinion pages, Jim Newton lays out all the juicy details in "Bare-knuckle politics." Huizar hasn't made much progress during his current term, and he doesn't seem connected to the people. Martinez has misdemeanor assault convictions on his record; and what's this about him possessing an LAPD badge that didn't belong to him? A Huizar aide, since fired, said he wanted to put "a political bullet" in Martinez's forehead. (Uh, where was that guy during last month's all-encompassing national conversation about vitriol in the wake of the Tucson massacre?) At Martinez's sushi restaurant in Eagle Rock, he renamed his "Huizar" sushi roll to the more generic "CD 14" roll. And to think, these guys used to be friends.

Scandal. Soap opera plot lines. An underdog. It makes for juicy reading, which helps get the local election on the radar. Is it enough, though, to get the under-30 crowd to the polls?


Los Angeles Times Endorsement: Rudy Martinez for L.A. City Council's 14th District

Reader opinion: Rudy Martinez vs. Jose Huizar for L.A. City Council's 14th District

Decoding the ballot: Think Measure M for Marijuana, N for No-good-reason...

Voter guide: March 8 Los Angeles Election

-- Alexandra Le Tellier

Photo: Los Angeles City Councilman Jose Huizar. Credit: Allen J. Schaben / Los Angeles Times


Comments () | Archives (7)

The comments to this entry are closed.


Maybe I'm going to be the only commenting here, but, young people do not find voting to be cool. The 2008 Presidential election is probably the closest you'll see the most youth vote, and there was probably stronger youth vote during this past mid-term in California due to prop. 19. But, let's face it, most youth of voting age to about 30 have interests in partying and having a good time. That's what they live for. Social networks, pop, MTV, celebrities, stuff like that are what interests them. I'm the exception, I was always interested in politics even when I was young because I saw politicians always passing more and more restrictive laws to our Rights and Freedoms.


If they aren't interested in voting why encourage them to do it? The sad fact is that most young people shouldn't vote. Hell, barely half of them are able to graduate from high school.


I represent the "youth". Help a sister out. Feel free to rebut my vote.

G y
H y
I n
J n
L y
M y
N y
O n
P y
Q y

Tom Birchfield

"Injustice At Its Worse"

"Keeping a million Americans in jaiol for non-violent crimes involving substance abuse is "Injustice at it's worse" and Republicans at their best! As we have laws folks that are enforced ineffectually and inconsistently; across our land, where 14 states have legalized Medical Marijuana use, and the rest of the country Injustice System locks you UP over even half a joint throughout the SOuth!
..."Injustice In America; "Anywhere Is Injustice In America Everywhere." --Martin L. King

In conclusion, this is Injustice at its worse, and Republicans at their best, as they go laughing all the way to the bank throughout the South, and build new jails faster than factories, if that's not injustice then this registered VOter/Vet USAF, don't know what is!

..."This is what a POLICE STATE looks like and it's getting worse by the day." "A time comes when silence is betrayal."
---Martin L. King

..."Sincerely Tom Birchfield, Graduate Student, Masters Program, East Tennessee State University


Billions changing hands in your emerald triangle for pot! Those in this area that can't produce proof of income yet live high on the hog should pay a min tax! Why should the rest of us pay for their under the table business?? Legalizing will lead to huge drops in price, very little taxes to show and a further dummin down of kids in our broken state! I'd make the case pot has caused great damage to our state! It's called dope for many reasons!


Young people might actually vote if they had experience with democracy.

Unfortunately, though the Constitution makes no age distinctions, they are routinely stripped of their basic rights in school, given little or no say in their own education, and in general treated as if their opinions and interests do not matter to the adult world unless there's a buck to be made.

No wonder that when they turn 18 it seems pointless to vote.


The only thing that will get most young people off their behinds is forced conscription albeit with options of service (not everyone is cut out for military life). People under 35 that have very little education and/or are not a property owner think their vote don't really count so why bother. They also think politics is waaay over their head, but fail to realize they play it all the time every day of their existence. All politics is: the pursuit and exercise of power. It is intrinsic to the American way of life and especially meaningful to social networking.



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The Opinion L.A. blog is the work of Los Angeles Times Editorial Board membersNicholas Goldberg, Robert Greene, Carla Hall, Jon Healey, Sandra Hernandez, Karin Klein, Michael McGough, Jim Newton and Dan Turner. Columnists Patt Morrison and Doyle McManus also write for the blog, as do Letters editor Paul Thornton, copy chief Paul Whitefield and senior web producer Alexandra Le Tellier.

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