NEW YORK (CBSNewYork) – New York City is kicking off its second annual civics week with a voter registration drive for students.

Across the city, students will take part in activities to promote civic participation including public speaking contests, participatory budgeting and town halls.

Local officials joined Schools Chancellor Richard Carranza at William Cullen Bryant High School in Long Island City to talk about the importance of civic engagement and voting.

“The most powerful tool that we have as Americans is our vote,” Carranza said. “Our ancestors fought for us to have the right to vote, so it’s our responsibility to carry that forward.”

The chancellor says so far the initiative has registered more than 30,000 students to vote.

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