23ABC Community Connection


Kern County political scene is seeing younger representatives

Bakersfield City Council (FILE)
Posted at 7:10 PM, Nov 06, 2020
and last updated 2020-11-06 22:10:59-05

Not only has Kern County seen an increase in younger voters, but some of the candidates running for office are also under the age of 30

23ABC's Bayne Froney spoke with two young candidates who will now be part of Kern County's Government.

“I think that there are a lot of folks who are frustrated with the status quo and a lot of them are pretty excited to see young people get involved," Eric Arias, Bakersfield City Council Candidate, said.

At just 24 years old Eric Arias is a candidate for the Bakersfield City Council, with many votes still needed to be counted, Arias holds over 76% of votes as of Friday.

“Every single day is a blessing, and every single day you have a unique opportunity to make your community better, making it a better place for you and your family and your neighbors to live,” Arias said.

Arias believes that local government needs younger representatives in order to help every voice be heard.

“Be that person on the council who millennials and even younger generations can come to and hopefully it is a little easier to relate with them and communicate their message to the rest of the council,” Arias said.

Arias isn't the only young person vying for a place in Kern County government.

Bryan Osorio was first elected to serve on the Delano City council in 2018 when he was just 23 years old.

While still in the middle of his term, Osorio said that being this young in a powerful position has taught him a lot.

“For the most part it has been a learning lesson, sometimes because of the votes I make get certain push back but it’s not necessarily push back from people who have been supporting me and so we continue to go forward and take that feedback and move on,” Bryan Osorio, Delano City Council Member, said.

Both Arias and Osorio believe that having young voices in local government can bring a different perspective and they want the community to know that you are never to young to get involved.

“Just get involved in any community groups that are trying to either do volunteer service or just talk about issues,” Osorio said.

“The sky is the limit, and I know that sounds super corny, but the truth is there are so many people here in Kern County who are willing to help achieve what you want to do, but it is a matter of making those connections, asking for help when you need it and not being afraid,” Arias said.

To get involved you can virtually attend meetings in Bakersfield and Delano.