Spring has officially sprung, local elections are in full swing, and the hustle to turn out young voters is stronger than ever. 2019 is full of local elections and our network is making sure young people’s voices are heard in every race. Here are the latest updates from Alliance affiliates turning out the vote:
(And make sure to read to the end for some exciting updates from our national team!)
Chicago Votes hit the ground running in February by hosting their first ever Youth Voice Mayoral Forum where young people from 10 high schools asked candidates questions about gentrification, incarceration, youth employment, and more. Candidates also had the option to rebut using emoji cards! Following the forum, Chicago Votes took students on a parade to the polls to cast their ballots for Mayor.They also created a voter guide to inform the community about the candidates in the April 2nd run-off. Not to mention they just wrapped their absentee ballot chase program in the CCJ to ensure people in pre-trial detention were able to vote.
Leaders Igniting Transformation is helping young voters stay informed and excited ahead of local elections on April 2nd where people will be voting for the Wisconsin Supreme Court and the Milwaukee School Board. They hosted two major events to get voters energized and meet the candidates including the “Black and Brown Get Down” and “Ballot Bash”—Milwaukee’s largest civic engagement event for young people. This week, they got almost every candidate running for the Milwaukee School Board to sign on to their Youth Power Agenda, advocating to remove officers from schools, create an inclusive school code, and more – all while knocking on 30,000 doors and running the largest digital GOTV program in the state!
MOVE Texas is gearing up for the San Antonio election on May 4th by hosting a “San Antonio Night Live” event where young people learn about the mayoral and city council candidates in a setting that breaks down the formal barriers of traditional candidate forums (there is a talent show portion!). Outside of candidate engagement, field organizers have registered over 3,300 voters in 2019 alone and are planning to run a voter guide program to educate young voters in San Antonio as well as Dallas for their local elections.
From Chicago to San Antonio, we are seeing some epic hustle from our network to ensure young people are registered, educated, and turning out in every race ahead of 2020.
Now for some exciting news from the Alliance family!
Our team just got a little bit bigger! We are excited to welcome the Alliance’s new Issue Campaigns Director, Gary Decker. Gary joins us after working for the last six years at a non-profit consulting firm leading organizational strategy development initiatives and facilitating public policy dialogues related to climate change and sustainable economies and industries. Gary is an expert in building coalitions, developing and executing impactful strategy, and engaging with young people to take the lead on critical issues.
In his new role, Gary will be leading our issue campaign work and supporting our network on our Democracy Done Right campaign. He will also represent the Alliance in voting rights coalition spaces to ensure the voices of young people and our network are well represented. In his free time Gary plays and watches more soccer than he would care to admit and enjoys a nice cocktail as well as stand-up comedy. Please join us in welcoming Gary to the team!
Last, we have an exciting update about one of our current staff members. Daniela Mrabti joined the Alliance (then BusFederation) in 2016 and has grown with the organization through a cross-country move, name change, and more. She has worked on everything from National Voter Registration Day to managing our conference. After honing her skills in digital communications for the past couple of years, we are excited to announce Daniela is transitioning into a new role at the Alliance – our Communications Manager! Daniela will be working closely with our future Senior Director of Communications to build out the Alliance’s communications department and help tell the story of our network. Congrats, Daniela!
Stay tuned for more updates from our network. For now, cheers to local elections and a growing staff!