EUGENE, OR — Today, Oregon Secretary of State Dennis Richardson announced that fifth graders from across the state elected Erikka Baldwin of Eugene as Oregon’s 2019 Kid Governor. The announcement came during a school assembly at McCornack Elementary School where Erikka is in the fifth grade. Schoolmates cheered as Kid Governor-elect Erikka, who ran on a platform of helping dogs and cats find their forever homes, thanked voters and fellow students for their help and support. Watch Erikka's campaign video on YouTube and today's announcement on Oregon's Kid Governor Facebook page.
This national program, created by the Connecticut Center for Democracy, is in its second year in Oregon. Secretary Richardson brought this program to Oregon in order to teach students about elections and the importance of civic engagement and contributing to their communities. All Oregon fifth graders are qualified to participate with nominations being received from public, private, charter, and home schools from across the state. Candidates were required to submit a campaign video about a community issue important to them as well as a three-point plan designed to help other students take action on the issue. Seven final candidates moved forward to the week-long general election, and their videos were posted to orkg.kidgovernor.org for fifth grade voters to watch before casting their ballots.
“Thank you all for voting for me,” said Erikka in her first address to her constituents during today's assembly. “I'll be a good Kid Governor for everybody.”
“Oregon's fifth graders have made a fantastic choice in electing Erikka to be their leader for 2019,” said Mary Beth Herkert, Oregon's State Archivist and Director of Oregon's Kid Governor Program. “Erikka is passionate about pet adoption, and we are excited to help her achieve her goals as Kid Governor.”
“Over 1,250 Oregon fifth graders voted in this year's statewide election for Kid Governor,” said Secretary of State Dennis Richardson. “This wonderful civics program is providing children with an outstanding, firsthand experience in civic engagement. It not only teaching them how elections work, but also why it is so important to be an engaged and educated voter.”
Erikka will begin her one-year term in January 2019 after her inauguration ceremony at the Oregon State Capitol. As Kid Governor, Erikka will work to raise awareness for rescued pets and encourage students from across Oregon to do the same. Her work will also promote civics awareness among Oregon's school children. The other final candidates for Oregon’s 2019 Kid Governor and their community issues were as follows:
Alayna — Forest Ridge Elementary — Promoting student safety
Eddie — Groner K-8 — Cleaning up our community
Ilakiya — Lewis and Clark Elementary — Stopping school shootings
Julia — Carus Elementary — Protecting the environment
Lily — Regis St. Mary Catholic School — Helping kids with reading disabilities
Noel — Monroe Grade School — Helping students with disabilities