It Is A Big Day for Democracy

Today is one of our favorite holidays, National Voter Registration Day! It’s the country’s largest single-day effort to register voters, get Americans excited about our democracy, and have a rockin’ time while doing it.

The Alliance co-created National Voter Registration Day in 2012 to get more people registered, more people voting, and more people participating in our democracy. As one of the founders of this youth-driven holiday, we are stoked to celebrate this year by supporting hundreds of college campuses & college students to register students to vote as part of our Campus Takeover.

With our partner Young Invincibles, we have supported over 500 college campuses, from Hawaii to Maine, to participate in the Campus Takeover. We have created toolkits, shared resources, hopped on the phone, and granted $25,000 to students and organizations so they can put on the highest quality voter registration events possible.

Today, the Alliance Network is putting pedal to the metal and organizing events all over the country to register thousands of voters. And, yes, we mean thousands. Our network will often register the most voters out of any National Voter Registration Day partner in the country. Just check out groups like MOVE Texas, the Oregon Bus Project, Forward Montana, and more who have been preparing for National Voter Registration Day for months! Following our social media to see what our network is up to today – and get all the positive feels about good, local, work in our democracy.

Voter registration is something we love and do every day. It is part of the fabric of the Alliance. We are stoked to be a founder for such an incredible holiday and to see it grow each year. While our network will be out today registering voters as part of the holiday, we’ll be out tomorrow all the way up to voter registration deadlines.

Happy National Voter Registration Day and happy registering!

The Midwest is for the Culture!

Amidst the many programs, expansion, and partnership work happening here at the Alliance, we forgot to tell you about an exciting new program we’re housing for the cycle. It’s called the Midwest Culture Lab, and its purpose is to increase the civic engagement of young people in the Midwest by integrating cultural organizing and story-driven content with grassroots, youth organizing.

This spring we partnered with experts in marketing, advertising, and culture to create a story platform by young people of color in the Midwest in order to tell a more authentic and holistic story about their lives. This summer we hired cultural organizers and put out a call to emerging creatives across the region to tell the unsung stories of their communities centered around joy, resistance, and transformation!

This is bigger than getting the cool kids more engaged in politics. We’re working with over 50 creatives (and paying them!) to create their best content using the story platform “Co-created by us, real, and with joy!: The world we need.”

And because everything we do is centered in the field, this work is anchored by affiliates and partners at Chicago Votes, Ohio Student Association, and Michigan’s We The People.

We believe that politics is where some of the people are some of the time, but culture is where all the people are all of the time which is why we are so excited to develop programming that joins local influencers, culture creators and community organizers to co-create more just communities that reflect the values of the people.

To learn more the Midwest Culture Lab visit our website or watch this webinar for a more in depth explanation.

Welcome our newest staffers to the Alliance fam!

We have some exciting news, the Alliance family is growing! We are so lucky to announce the newest members to the Alliance staff, otherwise known as M³!

Check them out.

Malaya Davis  

Associate Communications Director

Malaya Davis

Malaya is from Cleveland, OH and is a founding member of the Ohio Student Association! She got her start organizing at Wright State University around issues impacting Black students on campus. While at OSA, she helped lead fights in Ohio to stop “Stand Your Ground”, bring justice to John Crawford II and Tamir Rice, and get prosecutor accountability. Before coming back to the Alliance family, Malaya worked at the Color of Change as a campaign manager for their criminal justice department where she was able to sharpen her storytelling and digital organizing skills. Malaya is hella excited to tell the whole world about the amazing work that the Alliance network is doing!

Mark Hatton

Director of Electoral Engagement

Mark Hatton

Mark Hatton is a native Floridian who’s coming to the Alliance with a background in electoral work, issue advocacy, and organizing. He’s worked on higher education advocacy and within campaign structures – pushing to ensure young people and the issues they care about were heard and centered. Mark also loves all things Star Wars, iced tea, and diet coke, and is looking forward to supporting our network of awesome organizing!

Marisa Slifka

Operations Coordinator

Marisa Slifka

Marisa is joining the Alliance with a background in operations and advocacy. From her time working as an office manager at a boutique DC lawful to teaching students from all over the country how to advocate for themselves and the issues they are about, her new role at the Alliance is a perfect match! She’s the mommy of a happy dog named Annie, named after her grandma who was originally a gift to her grandfather, and she owned a goldfish named Ruth Beda Finsburg. Marisa’s expertise is what our operations team needs to thrive!

From operations to communications, electoral work, storytelling and more, we’re so grateful to expand our capacity to ensure our network is getting the support it needs to thrive.

Starting next week, we’ll be sending regular updates from across the network. In the meantime, check out our Instastory where Daniela is highlighting updates from the field every Friday!

Check out the newest additions to our board

We are so blown away by the brilliant people who have joined our network in the last few weeks, including some amazing new Alliance Board Members.

Check them out!

Alliance for Youth Organizing Board


Whitney Porter

Operations & Finance Consultant

Whitney Porter brings a wealth of operations, finance, event planning, and strategic thinking to the Alliance board. Whitney believes “that change can only happen when everyday, ordinary people speak up and ask for life to be better. This can’t happen if people’s voices are suppressed.” We couldn’t agree more.


Alexis Anderson-Reed

Executive Director, State Voices

Alexis Anderson-Reed is no stranger to youth organizing. Hailing from Milwaukee, Wisconsin, Alexis founded Youth Reclaiming Our Communities. She shared “I have seen first hand both the individual transformation of young people when they are meaningfully engaged and invested in, and the collective impact that young people can have when they come together to change their community.” We can’t wait to build alongside Alexis!

Alliance for Youth Action Board


Jonathan Paik

Executive Director, Orange County Civic Engagement Table

A Politcorp Fellow at the Oregon Bus Project and the second staffer ever at the Alliance, Jonathan Paik is OG Alliance family. JP has a background in finance, operations, and issue-based community organizing. JP envisions the Alliance as “the bridge to brings members from across the country to work together for the radical transformation that we’re looking for.” We are so glad to have JP back at the Alliance as a guiding force in the coming years.  

Announcing Our Newest Affiliate, Minnesota Youth Collective!

At the Alliance, we believe in building powerful youth organizing homes that are explicitly locally-led and youth-led.

Which is why we are beyond excited to announce…

Our board of directors just formally approved a new Alliance Affiliate and home for young organizers and activists in the Twin Cities – Minnesota Youth Collective!

Young people are the largest age group in Minnesota – that’s some serious power that the Minnesota Youth Collective is ready to flex. This organization was thoughtfully built by statewide partners and is led by its fierce founder, Emily Wellen, an Alliance alumnus herself and former national program staffer at the then Bus Federation! MN Youth Collective has already welcomed an incredible staff of eight that’s building power across the state (& they’re still hiring)!

While less than a year old, the team has already hit the ground running – coordinating student walkouts for gun safety, training young people across the state in all things organizing, hosting March for Our Lives Road to Change activists, and registering voters like it’s what they were born to do (over 2,000 voters registered already this year)!

You can follow their work to engage and empower the largest age group in the state on Facebook, Twitter, and Insta or make a contribution to their work here.

We’re inspired and re-energized every time our family gets a little bit bigger…

Field So Hard

Can you believe it’s already June? Summer is in full swing and so is our network. We’ve got some BIG updates and wins from across the country that we’re honored to uplift this week:

 As part of the Ohio Organizing Collective, Alliance affiliate Ohio Student Association, is supporting a ballot initiative that will reclassify drug possession felonies as misdemeanors and reinvest millions of dollars into drug treatment and community-based recovery programs. Next week, 100 out-of-state allies will meet in Columbus and join in-state teams to close out signature collection for the initiative. The week will wrap up back at Columbus Pride, an event that an estimated 500,000 people attend. We moved resources to support this effort and hope others will too!

 Last Tuesday, our affiliate MOVE San Antonio celebrated their 5th birthday in a big way – by unveiling MOVE Texas. They have been Mobilizing, Organizing, Voting, and Empowering a new generation across San Antonio and have expanded to reach young people in Seguin, San Marcos, and Laredo. Their new name better reflects the scope and depth of MOVE’s work in Texas and we’re so excited to celebrate this moment alongside them.

In Chicago, HB4469 is on the verge of making history after passing the Senate. This bill championed by our affiliate Chicago Votes would set up a formal process to ensure people have access to the ballot and understand their voting rights are restored upon release and it would make Cook County Jail the first jail in the country to be an official polling location, nbd. Learn more and urge Governor Rauner to sign the bill.

Our affiliate in Wisconsin, Leaders Igniting Transformation, celebrated a big win at the school board level after their students fought to strike an incredibly dangerous provision of proposed discipline policies that would have mandated police be called on students for “suspected criminal activity.” LIT’s vigilance and leadership in Milwaukee Public Schools is what will dismantle the school-to-prison pipeline.

One of our newest youth organizing partners, New Hampshire Youth Movement, is working with a coalition of organizations to protect the right to vote by pushing Governor Sununu to veto HB372 and HB1264 – bills that would suppress voter participation, particularly of students.

Our affiliate, Washington Bus, is gearing up their Tuition-Free College campaign, collecting stories about why students are #BrokeAF and hosting public events where young people can hold their elected officials accountable and shape what the Seattle Promise program could look like.

Young Progressive Policy Group – New York, our youth organizing partner, is fiercely fighting to lower the New York voting age to 17 by championing a bill that also ensures NY high school students are fully educated in civic participation and streamlines the process of voter registration by encouraging students to register in the classroom.

Finally, our affiliate New Era Colorado hosted their annual Toast to Democracy on Wednesday, bringing together hundreds of New Era friends and allies to celebrate and support youth-driven democracy. Happy 12th birthday, New Era!

Staying rooted in building local power and supporting the young people leading the charge is how we win. We couldn’t be prouder to work alongside a network that is transforming the landscape of their local communities, cities, and states to build a society worthy of our generation.

Dawn of a New Day

We are just days away from the 2018 Alliance Network Conference where we’re bringing together 24 of the best youth-led and centered grassroots organizing groups who are driving young people electoral engagement efforts this fall. We’ll be covering team management, operations and compliance, organizing electoral campaigns, fundraising, addressing anti-oppression internally and externally for our organizations, and of course, relationship building across the network – because we know we are stronger together than we could ever be apart.

But that’s not all! Next week also marks the first full week of our newest Alliance team member! Meet Dawn Boudwin.

Dawn Boudwin

Dawn is the new Director of Program and Partnerships at the Alliance. She joins the family with nearly 10 years of experience in campaigns, organizing, and coalition building with previous gigs at AFSCME, America Votes, and the Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee. Originally hailing from the great state of North Carolina, Dawn is joining the DC office to take the lead on national partnerships and manage our incredible program team. When not fighting for our generation, Dawn can be found exploring a new city and its food scene, searching for new vinyl to add to her collection, and enjoying time with her family (especially her 8 year old nephew) and friends.

We’re stoked to have Dawn on the team and hope y’all will join us in wishing her a warm welcome. You can send her your congratulations here.

And the Alliance isn’t the only one that is growing. Our network of affiliates and youth organizing partners across the country are also welcoming new young leaders into their ranks at this very moment. We rejoice in the opportunity to build power alongside such an inspiring group of young people, and we can’t wait to all be in the same room prepping for one of our biggest years yet.

Building Young People’s Political Power, from #NationalSchoolWalkout and Beyond

When students were murdered at a Parkland High School, we were heartbroken at more loss of life in our nation’s public schools. Like many of you, we have been inspired by the survivors who have shifted the public conversation away from fruitless thoughts and prayers to civic engagement, voting, and direct action.

Although most of our groups have not historically focused on gun violence, young people in our communities have taken us there in recent weeks. Newly engaged young activists from across the country have been reaching out to ask for help in organizing marches, rallies, walkouts, and of course, voter registration. And our network has answered with an enthusiastic hells yeah!

From Missoula to Miami, Chicago to Denver, Portland to Erie, Providence to Columbus, we have been blow away by the incredible actions across the network. It’s taken us 2 days to uplift all of their work on social media because there has been so dang much. The power of long-term organizing in communities is that even if we’re not known to work on a specific issue, the organizations in our network are trusted peers, partners, and allies when it comes to taking action alongside our nation’s youth.

To help support these activations, we were so lucky to receive rapid response support from a few donors (thank you!), which means $90,000 will be going to 17 organizations over the next week to support rapid response youth organizing between now and the April events.

At the same time, here at the Alliance, we want to be clear about our role in this work. We recognize that very few of our groups work on gun violence prevention. And if they do, it’s usually through the lens of organizing against the school to prison pipeline and uplifting its impact on youth of color. At a minimum, we want to ensure that these newly engaged young people have local, youth-led organizing homes to grow their skills and keep fighting for social justice. Ending up on a national email list is not good enough; this generation deserves so much more. That’s why we’re working to help organizations in our network scale to add additional paid organizing staff and student interns to mobilize these newly engaged activists in the long run.

And we want to make sure that folks are aware of and supporting groups like Community Justice Reform Coalition, an organization that centers black and brown communities at the nexus of gun violence prevention and criminal justice reform (if you haven’t heard of them, please check them out!). CJRC is filling a much-needed gap in the gun violence prevention movement – one where most impacted communities are too often forgotten or ignored. We know that only when groups like CJRC are uplifted will we ever be successful in this fight, and we hope you check them out.

For a closer look at the amazing work that took place around the country, take a look at our social on Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram.

Engage Miami, PA Student Power Network

Now Hiring: Program Director

Program Director Job Description

The next Program Director at the Alliance for Youth Action (along with our sister 501c3 organization the Alliance for Youth Organizing) will lead programmatic efforts of the premier youth organizing network in the country. This person will work with a national staff of seven talented, fierce individuals dedicated to supporting and scaling eight state-based young people political power building affiliate organizations comprised of some of the brainiest and hardest-working folks in the field. The Program Director plays an integral role in organizational strategy development and will manage and support the Program team. This is a full-time and exempt position and reports to the Executive Director.

About the Alliance For Youth Action

The Alliance convenes, supports, and scales a national network of youth-led, locally rooted organizations growing civic engagement and social justice coast to coast. We truly are a network “of young people, by young people, for all people.” In 2018, our affiliates and partners will run massive voter registrations and get-out-the-vote drives, train new young leaders,  and run powerful campaigns to win on the progressive issues our generation cares about most. Our national team empowers this work by tracking down national resources for the network, building capacity for local groups, seeding new efforts, and coordinating national issue campaigns. And we’ll likely do it all while bringing our generation together via the various remixes of J Balvin’s “Mi Gente.”

Job Responsibilities

The Program Director will be responsible for leading and managing the organization’s Program Department.  Key responsibilities of this position include:

Program Team Management (50%) – The Program Director will manage an experienced program team in the development and implementation of goals and objectives adopted during our annual planning process by ensuring team members have the tools and support they need to be successful and thrive. This person will also guide team members through professional development opportunities to grow their individual skills and abilities.  

Network Expansion (20%) – The Program Director will manage the Alliance’s “incubation” process to expand the network of state-based youth organizations. This work includes vetting and recruitment of new organizations and emerging leaders, collaboration with in-state stakeholders, and significant support on organization building for first-time and/or young Executive Directors and board members.

Affiliate Executive Director Alignment & Coordination (15%) – Because our network is committed to taking the lead from young leaders  on the ground, Executive Directors of Alliance’s affiliate organizations are crucial stakeholders in driving our work of developing new models of progressive leadership and accountability in progressive movements. The Program Director will be responsible for aligning, empowering, and coordinating Alliance Executive Directors to help set network-wide strategy and define our values. This person will also serve as a connector between affiliate Executive Directors,  Alliance staff, and Board.

Strategic  Partnerships (10%) – The Program Director will lead partnership work with national, state, and local organizations, companies, and brands to elevate affiliates and partners and further organization’s electoral and issue campaign goals.  

Other Organizational Efforts (5%) – The Program Director will play a key role in supporting the work of the Program team through involvement in capacity building efforts, the national Alliance conference, and the 2018 electoral plan. This Program Director will also support organization-wide efforts in the development and external communications.  

Key Qualifications & Experience

We’re looking for candidates with particular strengths in the following areas:

Organizing expertise and strategic thinking – Deep understanding of state and local grassroots organizing and advocacy, track record of developing & implementing either issue advocacy or electoral campaigns, ability to advise staff with campaign strategy/develop new ideas to maximize impact, make smart judgement calls as needed.

People & project management skills – Ability to manage multiple projects, plan backwards, anticipate obstacles, run a tight ship, support and develop staff.

Communication skills – Written and verbal.

Relationship building & collaboration skills – Track record of developing and maintaining trusting relationships with a diverse range of stakeholders, ability to meet people where they are, find common ground, and inspire collective action.

Racial justice analysis – Experience organizing colleagues, organizations, and/or movements using a racial justice and/or equity lens.

Equal Opportunity

The Alliance for Youth Action is an equal opportunity employer committed to a diverse work environment. People of color, people with disabilities, people of diverse sexual orientations, gender expressions, and identities are encouraged to apply.


    • Compensation: $80,000 – $90,000 per year commensurate with experience.
    • Benefits: The Alliance offers a competitive benefits package covering 100% of employee medical, dental, & vision insurance premiums, 50% of premiums for employee dependents, employer retirement contributions (SEP IRA), cell phone reimbursement, public transportation stipend, professional development funds, and generous paid time off, including paid family and medical leave.
    • Location: This is a full time position based out of the Alliance’s Washington, DC office.


  • Travel: Approximately 20% of this position may be spent on domestic travel.


To Apply

Please email as a single pdf document including the following:

  • Cover letter, explaining why you want this job and what makes you well-suited to the position (please, show some personality)
  • Resume
  • Three references

Please reach out to with any questions.


Welcome to the network, LIT!

What a week! Our entire team is in awe of the incredible work and the result in Alabama. The turnout of young people and black voters, specifically black women, puts front and center the founding principle of the Alliance’s theory of change — when people from/in their local communities lead, organize and make their collective voice heard, our democracy is stronger and better reflects our values. In addition to glorious victory for democracy on Tuesday — we also have some pretty exciting news at the Alliance!
On Monday, our boards of directors formally approved a new Alliance Affiliate: Leaders Igniting Transformation (LIT) in Milwaukee, Wisconsin.

At the Alliance, we’ve always believed that locally-led, youth-led political institutions have the power to change the world. We’ve seen it demonstrated with Chicago Votes, Engage Miami, Ohio Student Association, and MOVE San Antonio that the Alliance model can be adapted and implemented all over the country. Now, we’re helping a new operation get off the ground and we’re not just going in for 2018 — we’re incubating new infrastructure to last.

We first met LIT as part of the 16 young leaders from Wisconsin who received scholarships to attend the Youth Organizing Summit (Thanks, Brico Fund!) in April. Right after the conference, LIT became a Youth Organizing Partner and almost immediately, our program staff and local leaders flagged LIT as a rising star in the Midwest and prompted incubation conversations with organizers, donors, and other progressive leaders on the ground. After an in-depth process of vetting and analysis, we concluded that we’re incredibly excited to work with Leaders Igniting Transformation!

Positioned on the western shore of Lake Michigan, Milwaukee both translates and first served as an Indigenous ‘meeting place’ given its name by the Potawatomi Tribe. It couldn’t be more apparent that Milwaukee has deep community building and culture at it’s core.

Dakota Hall, founding Director of LIT has worked as a community organizer alongside his new board members and young volunteers at local organizations such as Milwaukee Inner City Congregations Allied for Hope (MICAH), Youth Empowered in the Struggle (YES!), and others. It’s a team reflective of the city’s heart and soul and they’re looking to build a new force for positive change.

The interest in this effort from the beginning has been tangible, both locally and nationally. Brico Fund, Movement Voter Project, NextGen America and a series of individual donors’ support have been critical for the Alliance to have space for a series of conversations in WI and to provide seed funding to these local leaders to develop their own plan. 

LIT has a ton of work ahead of them in order to organize and mobilize a new generation of Milwaukeeans to build a community that works for everybody. In 2018 and beyond, they’ll be focusing on criminal justice reform, specifically fighting the school-to-prison pipeline and working to redistribute and invest misused public funds into schools and other public services; reinstating basic voting rights for marginalized communities and specifically during the voter registration process; and long-term economic justice through reducing the weight of student debt and promoting free community college for the next generation – plus a ton of the young voter mobilization and leadership development (in MKE called “Black Hogwarts”) that you’ve come to expect from Alliance affiliates.

Please join us in welcoming LIT to our network by making a contribution towards their start up fund  and/or liking them on Facebook and Twitter!