Faces of Fairview: Nick Sims
Junior Nick Sims is involved in the Youth Opportunities Advisory Board (abbreviated YOAB), a group full of “politically active youth” which has recently been involved in efforts to lower the voting age in Boulder to 16.
“We basically work to allocate tax dollars to youth opportunities in Boulder, that’s our main goal,” Sims said. “For example we [worked with] Records High recently, [which] was a record label that was working to help out local teens who are producing music.”
Sims became interested in YOAB due to childhood experiences in his former home of Brooklyn.
“The school across the street from me in Brooklyn was like a really terrible, low funded school, and my mom knew if [I went] there [I] won’t really be able to succeed, so she worked hard and she was able to get me out to a public school in Manhattan,” Sims said.
According to Sims, the school he attended in Manhattan was much better than the school in Brooklyn.
“My entire life I’ve always just liked to look for those inequalities,” Sims said, “like [seeing] what is going on, how can I help out in any way.”
According to Vote16 Boulder’s website, YOAB created a sub committee to lower the voting age in Boulder.
With YOAB, Sims has gone to Human Relations Commission to advocate for the lowering of the voting age to 16. This campaign is called Vote 16 USA, and it is a “national campaign organized by General Citizen to help groups around the country lower the voting age on the local level,” Sims wrote in an email.
While YOAB can not specifically endorse Vote 16 USA, they advocated for it because their mission is to “promote the youth voice in the community,” Sims wrote.
Sims thinks that lowering the voting age is important for teens.
“We have tons of issues in Boulder, and a lot of us don’t really get to have a word in our issues, so I feel like the expansion of voting rights for us is a pretty big deal,” Sims said.
YOAB presented their argument for Vote 16 to the Human Relations Commission, which will then take their initiative to City Council.
“Hopefully [City Council will] adopt it and try to move forward with the plan and hopefully we’ll see it on the ballots next year,” Sims said.
Vote 16 is not the only project Sims is involved with. Currently, he is on a committee in YOAB that works to seek out youth groups and encourage them to apply for funding.
“My favorite part of YOAB is […] just being able to actually see some physical change,” Sims said.
Sims hopes to continue work similar to that of YOAB in the future.
“I thought a lot about becoming a public defender, because there’s a crisis in the United States where we don’t have that many public defenders,” Sims said. “So a lot of people just need to be legally defended.”