Youth Advisory Board

Meet The Board

The effort to lower the voting age to 16 must be guided by the very young people it aims to enfranchise, and energy among this population is crucial to moving the cause forward. The Youth Advisory Board ensures the voices of young people are at the front and center as this campaign gains momentum. The board is comprised of young people who have worked or are currently working to lower the voting age in their respective cities. Board members provide crucial input to the national campaign, engage other young people in the cause, and work to elevate youth voices.

Abigail Koerner

Washington, D.C.

Bio

My name is Abigail Koerner, I am a Junior at Woodrow Wilson HS in Washington, DC. I work for an organization called the Young Women’s Project, as a Peer Advocate. My job is to distribute condoms at school and provide on- the- go sexual education. In addition to the sexual health work, I work at YWP as an advocate for various issues including the youth vote. This year, I’ve worked to pass the bill to allow 16-year-olds to vote in DC. I joined Vote16USA in January of 2016 and I am excited to continue my advocacy work on a larger scale.

Anna Bernick

San Francisco, CA

Bio

Carlie Hansen

Chicago, IL

Bio

My name is Carlie Hansen and I’m a senior at Northside College Preparatory High School in Chicago, IL. I’ve been into politics since I was nine (that’s when I volunteered on my first presidential campaign!) and definitely have had the bug ever since. I’m passionate about political involvement and spreading the idea that politics aren’t a spectator sport, and are something that everyone has the capacity to understand and interact with.  This is what attracted me to Vote16 so much – empowering youth earlier on gives them the ability to create change locally and work towards becoming political participants at all levels of government. When I’m not involved in something political or working on Vote16, I play soccer as varsity goalkeeper and maintain four fishtanks, both at my high school. I love creative writing, spending time near Lake Michigan, and visiting the dolphins at Shedd Aquarium (where I worked last summer). I currently am watching Big Brother Canada and crying over Whodunnit? not getting a second season, all while Vivekae continues to lovingly bother me to watch The West Wing.

Danielle Reiser

Evanston, IL

Bio
My name is Danielle Reiser and I’m currently a senior at Evanston Township High School. I’m working with Vote16Evanston, a group of dedicated students, to lower the voting age to 16 for Evanston’s municipal elections. I have a background in youth activism, leadership, and organization. I’m on the board of the Students Organized Against Racism (SOAR) club at my school, along with the Community Service Club. I have a passion for politics and social justice, and look forward to pursuing these things in the future.

Eva Martinez

Boulder, CO

Bio

Foster Greer

Boulder, CO

Bio

My name is Leo Foster Greer and I am an 18-year-old senior at Boulder High School. I am also a member on the City of Boulder’s Youth Opportunities Advisory Board, through which I was lucky enough to become involved with the Vote16 movement. To me, this campaign represents social change, and I truly feel that I am advocating for many of the young people in my community. Outside of community involvement, I am passionate about playing music and science. I plan to pursue a degree in aerospace engineering.

Holman Pettibone

Santa Rosa, CA

Bio

I was born in Providence, Rhode Island and currently live in Santa Rosa, California. I attend Maria Carrillo High School, where I have become passionate about speaking, writing and debating politics. Through Vote16USA, I’m using these skills to fight for something I believe in: lowering the voting age and increasing our country’s low voter turnout.

Joshua Park

San Francisco, CA

Bio

Justin Ziegelmueller

Chicago, IL

Bio

My name is Justin Ziegelmueller and I’m a senior at Northside College Preparatory High School in Chicago, IL. An interest in politics did not come naturally for me. 4 years ago my 7th-grade self would have told you that I would be inventing something or playing video games during junior year of high school. I was, or at least I thought I was, a nerd – and that was fine by me. My interests lie in computer science, engineering, and design, so my involvement with a variety of political initiatives surprised people, including myself. As my interest grew, I realized that there are plenty of opportunities to integrate my interests with politics and it has been incredibly rewarding, especially considering the current political environment, and being surrounded with incredibly bright people that have a vision for the future and are simply willing to chase that vision doesn’t hurt either. My work for Vote16 involves maintenance of social media accounts, the construction/maintenance of our website, constituent analysis, and functioning as the village goofball. When I’m slacking off (which is more often than I’d like to admit), you’ll find me reading the news (specifically, a large amount of FiveThirtyEight), playing a variety of video games, biking, and hanging out with my wonderful friends.

Oliver York

San Francisco, CA

Bio

I’m Oliver York, and I am currently working with the San Francisco Youth Commission on the effort to lower the voting age for local elections in SF. I come to GC’s Youth Advisory Board on Lowering the Voting age with background in motivating teenagers and persuasive speech and debate. My other passions include performing arts and environmental science. I am a junior at Lick-Wilmerding High School.

Petra Silvey-Karvounis

Berkeley, CA

Bio

I am a senior at Berkeley High who is a current School Board Representative and former School Site Council Chair. I got involved in my community’s Vote16 effort with a group of around 12 leaders who are all passionate about Civic engagement and Youth empowerment. I hope to continue the effort to lower the voting age onto a larger, national scale.

Rahel Mideska

Washington, D.C.

Bio

Simelia Rogers

Berkeley, CA

Bio

Vivekae Kim

Chicago, IL

Bio

My name is Vivekae Kim and I’m a senior at Northside College Preparatory High School in Chicago, IL.  I first became interested in politics and activism after becoming aware of the stark racial segregation in Chicago — this spurred me to dig deeper, looking through Chicago history archives and finding maps of 1920s Chicago.  What I found shocked me; it made me realize the significance government policy has on historical and present conditions — communities had been redlined, firebombed, and impoverished purposefully by those fearful of change.  That realization is what made me passionate about getting involved in government and is what eventually led me to get involved with Vote16.  Vote16, to me, is not just about lowering the voting age, it’s about empowering younger generations to recognize bad policy and crooked politics when they see it, and to use the voice through their vote to better their community.  When I’m not working on Vote16 Illinois, you can find me listening to politics podcasts, running, taking photos, or re-binge watching The West Wing.

Vote16USA Youth Leaders Network

This group consists of young people from across the country who are close supporters of the campaign. Many are former Youth Advisory Board members or have previously worked on campaigns to lower the voting age in local elections.

Jillian Wu

San Francisco, CA

Bio

I’m Jillian Wu, a high school senior, passionate about youth civic engagement and the lowering of the voting age to sixteen. I’m currently the Vice Chair of the San Francisco Youth Commission and a part of the Civic Engagement Committee, which focuses on the efforts to lowering the voting age in the San Francisco. I’m also a passionate advocate for the improvement of educational and social services to youth; I’m a member of the National League of Cities’ Youth Education, and Families Council, which works on improving the education and social needs of youth and their families on a national scale, and the Mayor’s Our Children Our Families Council, which works to create a five year plan and outcomes framework for the improvement of lives for youth and their families in San Francisco. I am also interested in youth philanthropy. I’m a program officer for B.L.I.N.G. (Building Leaders in Innovative New Giving), a social justice youth philanthropy program, and a part of the leadership team for Youth Philanthropy Connect. I am also the youth Board Member for the Youth Leadership Institute.

Susan Le

Lowell, MA

Bio

My name is Susan Le and I am currently a student pursuing a chemical engineering degree. I’ve been fortunate to be exposed to organizing at the age of 15 and made my mark in Lowell with our Vote 17 campaign, to lower the voting age to 17 in Lowell’s municipal elections. My passion lies behind getting young people civically engaged, and I believe lowering the voting age is a step in that direction.

Anna He

San Francisco, CA

Bio

Hello, my name is Anna He. I am currently 16 years old and live in San Francisco, California. I am on the Civic Engagement Committee on the San Francisco Youth Commission, where I  represent District 6.  I have been part of Vote16SF, San Francisco’s effort to expand voting rights to 16 and 17 year olds, since January 2015. I hope to continue working on and advocating for Vote16 and civic education on a larger scale by being on Generation Citizen’s Youth Advisory Board. Fun fact about me: I have a healthy obsession with bears.

Mattan Berner-Kadish

Takoma Park, MD

Bio

I am a freshman at the University of Maryland, studying government and politics. I recently spent a year in Israel in a pre-army program, the Mechina in Jaffa. Politics have been important to me my whole life, and I’ve always wanted the ability to express my beliefs and impact the future of our country. I love rap and hip-hop, and am an avid supporter of every sports team from my city of birth, Oakland.

Joseph Jackson

Richmond, CA

Bio

I currently serve as the Chairman of the Richmond Youth Council, an advisory body to City Council. I continue to advocate for lowering the voting age, empowering our youth voices and creating jobs while teaching everyone to become economically stable. I believe everyone has the right to determine and define the future and environment.

Hannah Sun

Denver, CO

Bio

I discovered my passion for politics and student voice after fighting the corrupt Jefferson County School Board in Colorado. Now I studies political communications at Emerson College in Boston, Massachusetts. I take pride in working to give students and all young people a chance to unlock their voice and show them they do have a say in their democracy.

Mahsiah Imes

Jersey City, NJ

Bio

I was born and raised in Jersey City, N.J. I’m the chapter president of NYRA – Hudson County. My hope is to see young people be treated equally and not as second class citizens. I consider myself as a youth rights advocate and activist. I was inspired to advocate on behalf on of my fellow peers at the age of 10. I am a Jersey City volunteer who feeds the hungry every month and distributes toys to less fortunate children in partnership with R&R Youth Services of Jersey City, N.J. My chapter is currently working on lowering the voting age in Jersey City and I have been contact with different city officials to ensure our success. The Hudson Reporter and NJ.com have covered our progress. (Photo: Jesse Brothers, The Jersey Journal)