Press release via yahoo groups lists:
Organizers of San Francisco’s YouthVote, a mock election in which SF high school students get to weigh in on the candidates and measures to be voted on by the general voting age public in the upcoming November election, released the results of the student vote today, and Starchild, a sex worker and libertarian activist, was the runaway top vote-getter among the 11 candidates for school board, selected by 41.8% of those casting ballots. The runner-up, Tom Chan, was chosen by 32.2%, with the remaining candidates earning percentages from 31.1% down to 7.0%. Like regular voters, students were able to select up to three candidates to fill the three open seats on the Board of Education.
Starchild, who is the Libertarian Party of San Francisco’s outreach director, also polled first in the YouthVote when he previously ran for San Francisco Board of Supervisors. “I’m delighted and honored that San Francisco high school students once again made a pro-freedom, Libertarian candidate and erotic service provider their first choice, to represent them on the body that controls the city’s government-run schools,” he said.
“The evidence seems to be piling up that teenagers are smarter than adults in San Francisco,” he joked. “But seriously, I wish we could end the age discrimination that prevents high school students from casting votes in regular elections. If the rationale for denying them the vote is because they are dependents of their parents or guardians, then to be fair, adults who are dependents of government should also be disqualified from voting.”
According to YouthVote Coordinator Peter Lauterborn, about 7500 students cast ballots in the mock election. A YouthVote forum with Board of Education candidates was also held at Mission High School on September 27, with 10 of the 11 candidates, including Starchild, participating. As the highest school board vote-getter in the mock election, Starchild will receive a plaque of recognition.
Addressing the question of why he thinks students chose him over other candidates, Starchild said it’s probably a combination of several factors.
“I think young people are more willing to think outside the box,” he said. “They are more likely than their parents to vote for alternative party candidates, and to question the status quo on a fundamental level. Older people are more likely to be socially conservative and to believe there is something wrong with prostitution, or to think that a candidate who goes by a single name and looks kind of alternative can’t be taken seriously.”
Libertarian and other alternative party candidates did somewhat better in the YouthVote results than they tend to do among San Francisco voters in regular elections, with Libertarian candidate for Lieutenant Governor Pamela Brown polling 8.2% and Green and Peace and Freedom candidates outpolling Republican candidates in many of the contests for statewide office.
Starchild believes the content of the statement he submitted to be published in the YouthVote handbook for student voters also has something to do with his popularity.
“I was straightforward and to the point, making clear, easily understandable proposals, whereas most candidates who are more establishment-oriented tend to be used to speaking in what I call ‘politicalese’ — vague feel-good language, appeals to conventional wisdom, and stressing biographical accomplishments or high-profile endorsements, rather than articulating a solid agenda. I could be wrong, but my guess is that high school students have less patience with that kind of window dressing than adults do.”
“Of course I hope they like the libertarian ideas I stand for,” he added. “Coming from a pro-freedom point of view, my statement was heavy on student empowerment.” Starchild’s 100-word YouthVote handbook statement read:
As a former student, I have many years of experience working in government schools.
Changes I will seek include:
• Cut six-figure administrator salaries, get more resources into the classroom.
• Make teachers the highest-paid district employees, in charge of school budgets, curricula, and non-teaching staff.
• Let students attend their first-choice schools. Fund schools based on enrollment, so popular schools expand to meet demand and unpopular schools shrink until they improve.
• Give students and parents more say over which teachers are hired and retained. Students know who the good teachers are!
• Expand vocational training opportunities
• Let non-citizens vote!
• More field trips!
For more information, please contact Starchild at (415) 625-FREE, or YouthVote Coordinator Peter Lauterborn at (415) 554-3513