March 26, 2023

2020 Ballot Propositions That Impact Young Adults In California


For a majority of young adults in the United States, politics and voting is not their top priority. In fact, less than half of Americans ages 18 to 29 voted in the 2016 presidential election, according to The New York Times.

It seems that young adults are failing to recognize how important their representation is in voting, especially when it comes to propositions that will impact them and their futures. This groups claims that they want change through their Instagram stories and Twitter posts, but does not show up to the polls to actually make that change happen.

As a result of this, America stays stuck in its ways as the older people that go to vote tend to gravitate toward a government system that is similar to the one they have grown with. Think about it – have you ever gotten into a heated debate with an older person in your life over politics? Their views might be so different than your own that you wonder how they could think in such a way. However, if that is the case, it is up to you to make sure that you are represented in the voting process, especially when there are propositions that directly impact young adults.

You are probably asking yourself: What propositions have an impact on me as a young adult? Read on to learn about propositions on the 2020 ballot that will directly affect you and those that are your age.

  1. Proposition 18

By passing this proposition, 17-year-olds who will be age 18 by the time of the next general election will essentially be allowed to vote in both the primaries and special elections. Whether you are for or against Proposition 18, this is definitely something for you to take into consideration, especially as young adults. Why? Well, if 17-year-old were to be allowed to vote, that would be a whole other age group being represented in the outcome of elections.

With that, deciding on whether or not this particular age group is capable of making an informed and educated decision for themselves is something to keep in mind as their vote will have as much of an impact on the outcome of these elections as your vote does. This can be tricky in the sense that while those that are 17-years-old might have more similar viewpoints to that of a young adults versus someone that is significantly older, when we are young, we can look back on our mindsets and ideas that we had even just a year ago and wonder what we were even thinking!

  • Proposition 13

Proposition 13 focuses on bonds for school and college facilities within the state of California. In passing Proposition 13, these educational facilities would be granted $15 billion in bonds. Preschools and K-12 schools would be granted bonds amounting to $9 billion. According to BallotPedia, Universities would receive $4 billion in bonds and community colleges would receive $2 billion in bonds.

Bonds for preschools and K-12 schools would be used toward construction and renovation of facilities, providing facilities to new charter schools, and providing facilities for career technical education programs. Universities receiving these bonds would apply them toward capital outlay financing needs of California State Universities as well as for Universities of California and Hastings College of the Law. Similarly, Community Colleges’ bonds would be put toward capital outlay financing needs of community colleges.

While improving educational facilities sounds like a positive change, the question is: Where will this money come from? According to the California Legislative Analyst, the state of California will have to make payments totaling to an estimated $26 billion due to the $11 billion in interested over the course of 35 years from the General Fund.

  • Proposition 16

Proposition 16 actually works in a way that would repeal Proposition 209 which was passed in 1996. Proposition 209 entails that the state of California is unable to discriminate or grant preferential treatment based on race, sex, color, ethnicity, or national origin in public education. Aside from this proposition applying to you as young adults attending school to receive an education, this proposition is also applicable to public employment and contracting.

Without the existence of Proposition 209 through Proposition 16, the California government, local governments, public universities, and other political and public entities would be allowed to develop and carry out programs that grant preferences that are based on race, sex, color, ethnicity, and national origin in public education, employment, and contracting.

While a proposition like this one could potentially offer an advantage to marginalized groups, it could also allow groups that have remained in power to maintain their exclusivity. Proposition 16 could either even out the playing field or make matters worse.

Image by Tiffany Tertipes


While these are just a select few of the many propositions that will be showing up on the 2020 ballot, these along with the others are sure to have an impact on your future as they are what shapes your government system. With that being said, making sure you practice your right to vote is so important as these elections will have a major impact on you and other young adults.

Whether you are for or against these propositions, they will directly have an impact on your life as a young adult and in future years. If you are unhappy with the way things are going now and would like to see some change, it is ultimately up to you to participate in these elections so that your voice can be heard too!

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