Belmont community urges youth to vote


Oliver Richards

The San Mateo County ballot box sits in front of the city hall.

Citizens of Belmont have gained excitement as they anticipate the upcoming local election. As Election Day nears, members of the Belmont community are gearing up for the big day.

Ever since the passing of the 26th amendment, 18-year-olds have been the smallest voter demographic in the United States. Belmont officials and citizens, such as Vice Mayor Charles Stone, are aiming to change that this election.

Stone encouraged every voter, young or old, to get involved in some form of government at least once, whether through voting in this election or becoming more informed about local politics.

“Come to [council] meetings,” Stone said. “Thanks to Zoom, it is now easier than ever to tune into meetings and voice your concerns to council members.”

Greta Fry, a resident of Belmont for 17 years, warned that the local government does not thoroughly represent youth interests because of its predominantly older demographic. She encouraged young citizens of Belmont to make their voices heard.

“Pay attention to issues you care about and make sure officials are voting for your interests,” Fry said.

Andres Raddavero, an 18-year-old planned voter and former Parks and Recreation commissioner, agreed with Fry’s sentiment.

“Being able to participate in government, no matter the form, is so rewarding, especially when your ideas are heard,” Raddavero said.

Raddavero and Stone both believed that there could be enormous consequences for not voting, especially in the local election. This election could change how the City of Belmont functions as a whole. Measures such as RR could potentially rid California of Caltrain, which would heavily affect many citizens’ access to public transportation. 

For these reasons, Stone urged everyone eligible to vote to do so. He stressed the importance of voting in this election and ensuring individuals are adequately heard and represented on all issues. 

“Don’t give up hope. Things will get better over time,” Stone said.