World Library  
Flag as Inappropriate
Email this Article

Sonia Yaco

Sonia Yaco
Born 1957
Ann Arbor, Michigan

Sonia Yaco was the 1972 Human Rights Party candidate for the Ann Arbor, Michigan school board. When she ran for office at the age of fifteen, she became the youngest documented candidate ever for a publicly elected school board seat in the United States.[1]


  • The election 1
  • See also 2
  • References 3
  • External links 4

The election

Calling for student voice in school leadership, Yaco was a youth activist with Youth Liberation of Ann Arbor. After announcing her campaign and working with allies from the Human Rights Party, Yaco completed the procedural requirements for candidacy by submitting a petition with signatures from more than eighty-five qualified electors requesting that she be certified as a candidate. The Office of Operations of the Ann Arbor Public Schools denied certification of Yaco's candidacy in an attempt to stop her bid for a seat.

On June 7, 1972 the Human Rights Party requested a court hearing to stop the vote from happening before the trial was held. Their request for a preliminary injunction was denied by a district court judge. The election was held on June 12, 1972, without Yaco's name on the ballot, but Yaco received eight percent of the total votes as a write-in candidate.

The Human Rights Party filed a lawsuit with the US District court for eastern Michigan, Human Rights Party v. Secretary of State for Michigan.[2] They requested that the court declare the statute unconstitutional on the ground that it denies persons under eighteen years of age equal protection of the law in violation of the Fourteenth Amendment. The court argued that Court in Oregon v. Mitchell, YMCA Vote at 18 Club v. Board of Elections of the City of N.Y. and McGowan v. Maryland provided precedents of age deterrents. In YMCA Vote at 18 Club..., in particular, the court had specifically found that school boards can exclude students under eighteen from running for school-board seats, primarily because of concerns about "maturity." The case eventually went to the Supreme Court, which upheld the lower court ruling.[3]

Yaco's campaign has been credited as one factor among several leading to the formation of the city's experimental, alternative Community High School later that year.[4]

Yaco went on to attend the University of Wisconsin–Madison in Madison, Wisconsin, and developed a career in the field of archival records and administration.[5]

See also


  1. ^ Gross, R. and Gross, B. (1977). The Children's Rights Movement: Overcoming the Oppression of Young People. New York: Anchor Press/Doubleday. p. 130.
  2. ^ "'"HRP Backs Another Underage 'Candidate, Ann Arbor News, May 11, 1974 
  3. ^ Y B SCHWARTZ, Edmond F DeVine (October 30, 2011). Human Rights Party of Washtenaw County v. Secretary of State of Michigan U.S. Supreme Court Transcript of Record with Supporting Pleadings. Gale.  
  4. ^ Mosher, M. (2000) "Youth Liberation of Ann Arbor: Young, Gifted and Media-Savvy", Bad Subjects. #47, January 2000. Retrieved May 6, 2007.
  5. ^ Sonia Yaco C.V., 2007, accessed 24 Feb. 2008.

External links

  • Vote! Holt-wilson-yaco School Board June 12
This article was sourced from Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike License; additional terms may apply. World Heritage Encyclopedia content is assembled from numerous content providers, Open Access Publishing, and in compliance with The Fair Access to Science and Technology Research Act (FASTR), Wikimedia Foundation, Inc., Public Library of Science, The Encyclopedia of Life, Open Book Publishers (OBP), PubMed, U.S. National Library of Medicine, National Center for Biotechnology Information, U.S. National Library of Medicine, National Institutes of Health (NIH), U.S. Department of Health & Human Services, and, which sources content from all federal, state, local, tribal, and territorial government publication portals (.gov, .mil, .edu). Funding for and content contributors is made possible from the U.S. Congress, E-Government Act of 2002.
Crowd sourced content that is contributed to World Heritage Encyclopedia is peer reviewed and edited by our editorial staff to ensure quality scholarly research articles.
By using this site, you agree to the Terms of Use and Privacy Policy. World Heritage Encyclopedia™ is a registered trademark of the World Public Library Association, a non-profit organization.

Copyright © World Library Foundation. All rights reserved. eBooks from Project Gutenberg are sponsored by the World Library Foundation,
a 501c(4) Member's Support Non-Profit Organization, and is NOT affiliated with any governmental agency or department.