State Assemblyman Curren D. Price held a news conference and student rally at Loyola Marymount University (LMU) Wednesday, March 18th to promote his legislation aimed at dramatically expanding the number of new voters statewide and encouraging a new level of civic engagement by young people in California.

The assemblyman announced the introduction of Assembly Bills (AB) 30 and 106, two bills that he said would enable 16-year-olds to pre-register to vote for the first time in state history. The bills would also provide persons seeking to register to vote an expanded array of locations where they could fill out and submit their voter registration forms, including all Department of Motor Vehicles (DMV) offices and, for the first time ever, when filing their state income tax returns, he said.

ìIn November 2008, we witnessed an extraordinary level of enthusiasm among young people who got engaged in the political process of choosing our national leader for the first time,î said Price, who represents Playa Vista and Westchester in the 51st Assembly District.

ìWe need to build on that excitement in California and make it easier for persons young or old to register to vote. Exercising oneís right to vote is critical to a vibrant democracy, yet voter registration among Californiaís youth remains at abysmally low levels.î

Price was accompanied by Los Angeles City Councilman Richard AlarcÛn, in addition to guest celebrities, Kel Mitchell, actor and spokesperson for the Stephanie Starks HOPE Foundation; and Devon ìNedî Werkhesier from Nickelodeonís Ned Declassified. The co-sponsors for the event were the Stephanie Starks HOPE Foundation, the New America Foundation, and Rock the Vote.

Price said facilitating participation by younger voters can have positive long term effects on overall voter participation.