White outline of a capitol building on a darl blue gradient background

What’s New with the Alliance

We build young people’s political power by organizing year-round. After Alliance network organizations turned out young voters in record-breaking numbers last November, they got right back to work. They built programs to engage those young voters and ensure elected officials are passing policies that align with our values. This meant that organizations hit the ground running in January and have not stopped since. Here are just a few ways the Alliance Network has been organizing their communities in 2021.

Pushing Progressive Policy

  • Chicago Votes and Next Up (Oregon) are both leading legislation that would restore voting rights to people in prison. Both organizations have also teamed up to advocate for each other’s legislation and share learnings on social media. Watch their latest IG Live here →
  • Mississippi Votes is also leading efforts in the state to restore voting rights  for all formerly incarcerated citizens who have served their prison term. Learn more about the report they just released with partners here.
  • New Era Colorado is the organizing force behind legislation that would protect private loan borrowers from predatory loan servicers.
  • Next Up is leading legislation that would allow 16- and 17-year-olds to vote in school board elections in Oregon.
  • The Washington Bus is championing a bill that would allow those who have committed a felony and are out of jail to get their voting rights immediately restored.
  • Virginia Student Power Network helped powered the campaign to pass a Tuition Equity Bill, allowing undocumented students access to state-based financial aid. After the Governor signs this legislation, it will become law!

Blocking Harmful Legislation

  • Forward Montana and partners stopped a devastating anti-trans bill that would have barred medical professionals from providing gender-affirming healthcare to minors.
  • MOVE Texas is organizing to block legislation that would ban drive-through outdoor voting, discourage volunteers from driving the elderly to polling places, mandate voter roll purges that would disqualify many eligible voters, and if you can believe it, more (SOB).
  • New Hampshire Youth Movement and partners successfully blocked legislation that would have prevented people from voting in New Hampshire if they maintained a domicile address in another state, forbid students from registering to vote at their college address,  and prohibit the use of a college ID as a voter ID. Major win for the student vote in New Hampshire!

Keeping Elected Officials Accountable

  • Forward Montana has launched a new series on Instagram called Hero and Villain of the week. In this series, they identify local legislators who are voting with the values of young people in Montana and those who are not. Head over to Forward Montana’s Instagram to catch up on every week’s picks!
  • New Hampshire Youth Movement recently launched a Mean Girls-style Burn Book, NH Politics Edition, highlighting state legislators who refuse to denounce white supremacy. We think it is should be on the top of your summer reading list. Take a peek at their latest Burn Book edition on Instagram here.

Demystifying the Legislative Process

Alliance network organizations are creating newsletters, podcasts, IG Lives, and more to break down the complicated state legislative process and make contacting legislators as accessible as possible. Here are a few of our favorites:

Chicago Votes | Sh*t Talk

Forward Montana | What the Helena

Loud Light | Weekly Kansas Statehouse Recap Videos

MOVE Texas | WTF TX Lege

Next Up | Back to Basics

Providing Resources and Support

MOVE Texas took immediate action to provide support and vital information to people affected by devastating blackouts due to extreme cold weather. They mobilized over 100 volunteers to contact 70,298 Texans and connect them with emergency resources.

Learn what’s new with the Alliance staff in this blog post!

Five headshots of Alliance staff memebrs

Growth at the Alliance

Join us in welcoming the newest members to the Alliance staff and congratulating current staff on some exciting promotions!

Julian Iriarte (They/Them) | Finance Manager

In November, we welcomed Julian Iriarte as our new Finance Manager and the latest addition to our growing Finance Team. In their role, Julian oversees our daily operations, builds financial reports to keep us on track, and manages contracts and grants to ensure our network is funded and resourced. When they are not keeping the financial train on track, Julian also holds the title of proud plant parent and published spoken word poet. Welcome, Julian!

John Serpas (He/Him) | Senior Operations Director

Join us in welcoming John Serpas – the Alliance’s new Senior Operations Director. In this role, John will lead our Operations Team and ensure our internal systems are running smoothly. He’ll also provide critical training and support to strengthen the operations teams at Alliance network organizations. When not in the (virtual) office, you can find him online playing Rocket League or watching the Boston Celtics attempt to make a Finals run, but disappoint him in the process. Welcome to the team, John!

Sara Vernon (She/Her) | Data Manager

We are excited to announce the newest addition to the Alliance staff, Sara Vernon. Sara is an activist first and data nerd second making her the perfect person to fill the brand new role as Data Manager. In this role, Sara will strengthen data systems for the organizations in the Alliance network, provide training and 1:1 support for network staff, and use data visualizations to tell the powerful story of how our network is building young people’s political power . When not making beautiful spreadsheets, you might find Sara helping people get hitched as she’s an ordained minister in the Universal Life Church. Welcome to the Alliance family, Sara!

Daniela Mrabti (She/Her) | Promoted to Digital Director

Join us as we congratulate Daniela Mrabti and her promotion to Digital Director. Daniela has been with the Alliance for more than four years (!) and has been vital to the dramatic growth of the Alliance’s communications work. In her previous role, she grew the Alliance’s brand and presence on social media platforms, optimized our website, built a digital ads program, provided key communications support and training to Alliance network organizations, and has helped tell the story of the power of youth organizing online. We look forward to her continuing to grow in her new role and elevating the Alliance’s digital communications efforts.

Mariella Villacorta (She/Her) | Promoted to Development Coordinator

Join us in celebrating Mariella Villacorta for being promoted to Development Coordinator. Since Mariella joined the Alliance in 2019, she has been an integral part of our Development Team. She has managed our growing monthly donor program and led serious improvements to our internal systems. Mariella’s contributions were crucial in a year where we raised and moved the most resources in our organization’s history to support local youth organizing. We are excited to continue to see Mariella grow in this new role and further develop her fundraising prowess.

collage of black leaders

Making Black History and Creating Black Futures

The Black youth organizers in the Alliance for Youth Action network are making history every single day. They work 365 days a year to build youth political power and make a change in their communities fighting for jobs that pay a living wage, accessible healthcare that includes mental health care, access to nutrition,  access to the ballot box, and more. 

Learn how Black youth organizers in the Alliance network are transforming their communities and building brighter futures for us all.

Brian X

he/they | Cultural Manager at Chicago Votes | Chicago, IL

How are you making Black history right now?

Currently leading Chicago Votes’ judicial efforts. Coordinating over 150 volunteers to digitally go into Cook County courtrooms and track data on racial and gender bias. The data collected will be used for public education around the current climate of courtrooms in addition to validating the necessities for some of the legislation that we are currently trying to pass. One piece of legislation is the Judicial Quality act which ensures judges receive quarterly trainings on racial bias, child abuse as well as the impact of trauma on youth brain development. Another piece of legislation is the Jury Qualifications Act which provides that no person who is qualified to serve as a juror may be excluded from jury service on the basis of a previous criminal record.

Also leading the Cultural work at Chicago Votes. Managing the Give A Sh*t collective of over 30 artists who lead monthly mutual aid efforts as well as using their art as a means to express their political/social views in a more digestible manner for young people ages 17-35. Civic engagement can in fact be fun.

What does a loving, safe, just, and thriving future for Black youth look like?

A future where public schools are funded properly and the curriculum is up to date and all inclusive of past historical events. I see a future where even the architectural design of a public school does not resemble the inside of a county jail. A future where fresh food and healthy drinking water are accessible for all and not just thriving or overly funded communities. A future where every Black child has an equal chance of obtaining a college degree. A future in which if a Black child opts to not go to college, that will not be held against them for the remainder of their lives, being a constant Black cloud hanging over their heads. I imagine a future where all Black youth has fair access to jobs they desire. An internship, retail, restaurant industry, summer programs, no matter the occupation, ensure that every Black youth is being paid fair and liveable wages.

Who are other young Black leaders that bring you joy?

I am reminded of our ancestors. The leaders who were pieces to a puzzle they never lived to see the completion of: Chairman Fred Hampton, Huey P. Newton, Afeni Shakur

I am reminded of all of my peers who are no longer here. My peers who fell victim to substances and violence in the inner city. Their memories and legacies live on, they continue to move us forward.

Kalia Harris

Kalia Harris

she/ella | Co-Executive Director at Virginia Student Power Network | Richmond, VA

How are you making Black history right now?

I am working to build Black futures by building youth power and mass mobilizing in VA, centering the most impacted young folks. I am a student of abolition and follow in the tradition of truth-telling with my co-hosts on our radio show, Race Capitol, that interrogates racial narratives in the fallen capitol of the confederacy. 

What does a loving, safe, just, and thriving future for Black youth look like?

A loving, safe, just, and thriving future for Black youth looks like a world without police, where there are resources that allow youth to actualize their dreams. Total abolition, total liberation.

Who are other young Black leaders that bring you joy?

Some young Black leaders that bring me joy + teach me every day are: Naomi Isaac, Roux Maloney, Stephanie Younger, Kai Hartsfield, Mikki Charles, and Jasmine Jones

Kelsey Rodriguez

she/her | Digital Organizer at Detroit Action | Detroit, MI

How are you making Black history right now?

I am making history right now just by being here. I believe that just existing in a world where there are systems working against you is an act of protest. And calling those systems out is all the more radical.

What does a loving, safe, just, and thriving future for Black youth look like?

A loving, safe, just, and thriving future for Black youth would be a world where life isn’t a privilege. We won’t have to worry about being killed by the police, or by incompetent doctors, or unsafe environments. 

Who are other young Black leaders that bring you joy?

Other young Black leaders that bring me joy are the people that I work with at Detroit Action. The work that they do and the passion that they have inspires me every day. 

Kiah Sandler

Kiah M. Sandler

she/her | Development Associate at Chicago Votes | Chicago, IL

How are you making Black history right now?

I think Black history is filled with stories of radical change, and by nature being able to come on as the development associate for a Black-led nonprofit that approaches advocacy work through an abolitionist framework, and I’m not sure it can get more radical than that!

What does a loving, safe, just, and thriving future for Black youth look like?

I would love to see a future where any young Black kid in America can look out into the world and see only examples of validation and affirmation that they are loved, their lives are valued and protected, they have every opportunity to be successful and happy in life as any other kid, and they can revel in their ancestry and appearance with pride. That to me is a future without inequitable and violent attacks from police, where the difference between attending a private or public school is not a measure of quality or price, and a future where differences of culture and appearance are exclusively celebrated and prejudice is condemned.

Who are other young Black leaders that bring you joy?

I am inspired by fellow young Black people every day, but some fellow organizers in this amazing city of Chicago who I admire and learn from on a consistent basis would be Kennedy Bartley with United Working Families, Eva Lewis of The Free Root Operation, DJ Evie the Cool of Babes Only, Kierra Wooden of The Southside Cleanup, and of course my own coworkers Brian X, Katrina Phidd, Rudy Garrett and Stevie Valles!

Jasmine Davis

Jasmine Davis

she/her | Denver Organizing Fellow at New Era Colorado | Denver, CO

How are you making Black history right now?

Many answers come to mind in response to what I am doing to make Black history. The first being, my existence is resistance. My joy is resistance. My unwavering strength is resistance. Because being Black often means being pushed into the ocean, drowning in your oppression, and being asked, “why don’t you just swim a little harder?” It often means daily comments, stares, threats, and discomfort because of others’ ignorance.

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And no matter how many times you re-word and re-phrase the ways oppression is very much real and alive, there are some who will invalidate your lived experience on the basis that they haven’t experienced or seen it themself. And how heavy that is, to carry the burden of institutional and societal laws and eurocentric ideologies that have been forced onto you, and in the same breath, be told you are making it up. That you have a victim’s mentality. When we just passed laws that say we can wear our hair naturally, when Rosa Parks only died in 2005, when I’m being called slurs in the street and from my own professors, when I’m seeing videos of beautiful Black women being spit on by bigots in 2021. And that is why, however much my voice may be silenced and overlooked, I will always speak for my community and for other voices that are often unheard. It is why I am creating my company, ListenToBlackWomen, where I will not only post my own poetry for education and empowerment, but it will be a platform for other Black women artists, especially, to be able to be heard, because we deserve the mic without one syllable said against it. Additionally, working at New Era Colorado means I am a part of the Let My People Vote campaign, where I can get more people in my community involved, engaged, and aligned. Not only that, but the bills we are working on often affect marginalized communities the most due to white supremacy and so being a part of this organization has allowed me to elevate my activism. I hope for a day where we can have the freedom and equity we have always deserved, without having to protest during global pandemics and risk our lives because Black skin is weaponized.

What does a loving, safe, just, and thriving future for Black youth look like?

Liberation tastes like collard greens and cornbread and all the love and warmth cooked in family reunion barbeques. Liberation smells like southern food and flowers and heavy seasoning you can smell from your room to the kitchen. Liberation sounds like Black boys and girls laughing, it sounds like older Black women calling you baby, it sounds like Black women having the stage and no one interrupting them and their voices echoing throughout the entire world, it sounds like James Brown’s “Say it Loud, I’m Black and I’m proud” playing on boom boxes in the street, and there is not one single syllable said against it, it sounds like peace.

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It feels like community, it feels like the tears down my face at the March for Black women, it feels like the validity I felt holding their hands and praying for our protection, it feels like Blackness being more than hashtags and targets. My vision for the world is one where everyone can live authentically and fully, with little to no conditions or limitations. A world where we are all aware of our potential and worth, there is no market preying on our insecurities or creating them. Where results of experiences do not vary by skin tone. Where brown and Black bodies are not just hashtags and targets and disposable uses for labor and ideas, where we can lay in our beds safely, we can walk down the street safely, we can go to stores and drive and love and go on runs and work and live safely. And not just safely, but fully. We can wake up and smile, not because we made it through the night, but we are excited for what blessings the day will bring. We can know our lives and bodies won’t be a political statement. A world where an election isn’t a juggling game of rights and survival, where we don’t have to protest to avenge and protect lives that were never someone else’s to take. A world where our kids can play in the front yard and there isn’t one single question of danger, where you can pass people on the street or in a grocery store and genuinely know, there’s no ill intentions behind their smile. A world where getting an education doesn’t mean drowning in loans and dying with debt. A world where we can not just survive, but live.

Who are other young Black leaders that bring you joy?

Other Black leaders that bring me joy would be Maya Angelou for one. I am actually going to get “And Still, I Rise” tattooed onto me because not only has she been vital in history, but this sentiment is why I live by. No matter what happens, in regards to racial injustice or other hardships, I will always rise and come back better. Black leaders like her give guidance to continue to fight and believe we are, there is, and that this world is made for so much more.

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Additionally, I would say Justin Michael Williams, who I feel has really helped revolutionize spirituality and meditation for marginalized communities. His book, “Stay Woke,” is dedicated to LGBT, Black youth, women, anyone who has had barriers systemically and statistically faces increased mental health issues and a lack of resources. I look up to so many Black leaders, but I would also include two of my favorite slam poets Kai Davis and Rudy Francisco, who have illustrated the Black experience (and Kai Davis the experience of intersectionality as a queer, Black, woman -relatable), in a way that is very much Black without the chaser, because we shouldn’t have to water down our voices to better suit people who already benefit from it.

Princeton Jackson

Princeton Jackson

he/him | Canvass Coordinator at Leaders Igniting Transformation | Milwaukee, WI

How are you making Black history right now?

The work I do is Black history, defeating the odds as a young and intelligent man is Black history. Setting an example for the generations after me is Black history. Every day I and so many other Black people wake up to make a difference… and that too is Black History

What does a loving, safe, just, and thriving future for Black youth look like?

A strong system of self belief, a support system that fosters their feelings and encourages them to leverage their gifts and talents. If we instill these seeds when they are young they will grow to be stellar adults and share the same love that was given to them.

Who are other young Black leaders that bring you joy?

Well…. my joy doesn’t come solely from the youth as I believe that we can gather inspiration from people regardless of their age. With that being said what Dakota Hall has managed to do in a short amount of time is inspirational… frankly doesn’t get the credit he deserves. Within a few short years, the organization he founded has been able to make a meaningful impact throughout Wisconsin and soon enough it will spread beyond LIT’s home state(if it already hasn’t).

Timothy Young

Timothy Young

he/him | Digital Content Creator at Mississippi Votes | Jackson, MS

How are you making Black history right now?

How I am making Black history now is by using my graphic talents and ties to the community to help amplify the electoral landscape here in Mississippi. I have done so by organizing the largest peaceful protests in the state of MS since Freedom Summer. The protest’s main mission was for the removal of the confederate symbol in the state flag. Mississippi currently has a new flag, one voted on by the majority of people here. I also help in educating my community by mapping out what we have done politically and socially here through a podcast called Better Luck. It seeks to explore conversations with Legislators and ask questions directly from the community they serve. Currently, at Mississippi Votes, I am also using my talents in an effort to restore voting rights to those in Mississippi who have been previously convicted of one of the 23 disenfranchising crimes. By doing so, I hope to make Mississippi a place in which the entire voice of the community is heard through its governing.

Who are other young Black leaders that bring you joy?

Another young Black leader who brings me joy would have to be my podcast cohost Shaugnhy Rickmon! Shaughny brings such an upbeat spirit to volunteering that anyone around her becomes inclined to push themselves even harder!

Victoria Dadet

Victoria Dadet

she/they | Senior Advocacy Manager at New Era Colorado | Denver, CO

How are you making Black history right now?

I am making Black history by being dedicated to Black liberation. When I radicalize my friends and family, when I protest, when I testify, when I work with Black-led organizations, when I take time to rest and rejuvenate, I am making Black history.

What does a loving, safe, just, and thriving future for Black youth look like?

It looks like a future where we are free to breathe, dance, play, laugh, cry, create, fail, make mistakes, experiment, build relationships, be vulnerable. It looks like a future where accountability is prioritized, where Black youth are valued, supported, and protected. It looks like a future where we can fully experience the depth of humanity without being afraid that our lives will be stolen from us.

Who are other young Black leaders that bring you joy?

My co-workers and co-conspirators: Morgan Royal and Lauren Smith

My favorite artists, healers, community organizers, innovators: Karia White, Bri Hill, Sophia Benrud, Tahirah Green, noname, everyone at BYP 100, and Octavia Butler (she was young once!)

"Thank you, Georgia" with a picture of Georgia and a ballot box

Can’t steal our joy – Still celebrating Georgia making history!

We aren’t going to let 2021 go another day without taking time to celebrate a victory that already feels like it happened months ago! Last week, Raphael Warnock and Jon Ossoff were sworn in as the first Black Senator and first Jewish American Senator from the state of Georgia after a jaw-dropping effort by incredible organizers to turn out the vote.  

Especially in these challenging times, we must celebrate our victories. As in November 2020, young voters of color in Georgia—especially Black youth—flexed their power in this election. According to the Center for Information and Research on Civic Learning and Engagement (CIRCLE) more than 90% of young Black voters backed Warnock and Ossoff. This record turnout for a runoff election demonstrates Georgians’ determination to fight against voter suppression, exercise their right to vote to fight for their futures, and strengthen our democracy. 

We thank and congratulate the Black women like our friend Nse Ufot, Executive Director of New Georgia Project, Deborah Scott, founder of Georgia Stand Up, and of course Stacey Abrams who have led the charge on building a more progressive Georgia. And we celebrate the powerful organizers from groups like Mijente, GLAHR, Asian American Advocacy Fund , and so many other phenomenal grassroots organizers and volunteers for their unprecedented efforts to mobilize voters in Georgia.

ALLIANCE FOR YOUTH ACTION’S IMPACT ON GEORGIA RUNOFF

In an effort to help close infrastructure gaps and ensure young Georgian voters had the information they needed to participate in the runoff election, the Alliance ran a text, mail, and call program from mid-November to Election Day. Our runoff work included:

🤳 1.53 million text messages sent

✉️ 830k pieces of mail delivered

📞 820k calls made

This work helped contribute to 238,170 young Georgians to vote early or absentee, early 17,000 of whom did not vote in the November election. 

Our work in the runoff built upon our work in Georgia for the general. We threw down alongside friends because we know that when young people are mobilized, we win.

The Alliance network will continue to mobilize Generation Z and Millennials to push elected officials, including Senators Warnock and Ossoff, to bring the issues young people care about to the table and have robust plans for how to address them.

We work everyday on defending our democracy. Today, let’s not forget to celebrate! 

To a new administration and a just future

The day has finally come. President Joe Biden and Vice President Kamala Harris have been sworn in as our President and Vice President of the United States. There are no words to describe how ready we are to welcome this new administration, celebrate what it took to make today a reality, and gear up for the many fights ahead. More people voted for Joe Biden than any candidate in U.S. history. Kamala Harris is the first woman – and specifically woman of color – elected vice president. The 117th Congress is the most diverse Congress in history, with record gender and racial diversity. And it was young people – and specifically youth of color – who took their organizing from the streets to the ballot box to save our democracy. 

There is much to celebrate. Yet, this historic inauguration is happening when we are facing so much as a nation – a global pandemic, economic crisis, and constant threats of insurrection from white supremacists. 

As we called for in our statement earlier this month, we continue to fight for the conviction of Trump, expulsion of Members of Congress who wanted to stop the certification of the election results, and an investigation into how white vigilantes were permitted to storm the Capitol. Since then, we’ve learned that an alarming number of on- and off-duty police officers and other public officials also directly aided or participated in the attack on the Capitol. This attack on our democracy may reflect where we are as a nation today, but it doesn’t have to represent who we are in the future. 

While we work to hold Trump and his allies accountable for seeking to destroy our fragile and imperfect democracy, we must also continue to push for policies that will build on our democracy’s promise. We must do all we can to pursue justice, defend democracy, and be bold in our demands to repair, restore, and revitalize our communities. 

Our latest poll with Civiqs of young progressive voters in battleground states shows just what that bold future looks like. Young people understand that we are fighting multiple crises and demand that we go big with fighting for policies including COVID relief, reuniting migrant families at the border, expanding health care access, and taxing wealthy corporations. It is crucial that these demands are centered by the new administration. Already we have seen the Biden Administration start to address some of these challenges – returning the U.S. to the Paris Climate Agreement, extending the pause on student loan payments during COVID, and reversing the Muslim travel ban. Major legislation to end the pandemic, turn our economy around, and address our immigration crisis are around the corner – and we’re eager to partner with friends to ensure the most vulnerable in our communities are supported.

While we turn the page to a new administration, the young people of this nation will continue to sustain the pressure on our elected officials on every level of government to pass legislation that will undo the harms not only of the last four years, but also inherent in our founding. We hope this new administration will work towards what the Alliance network fights for everyday – a country where our democracy works for everyone and where all people – no matter where they come from, what they look like, or how they identify – live in loving, safe, and thriving communities. 

To help us continue to sustain the pressure and defend democracy, please forward this email and get your friends to sign up for our e-newsletter. Then, make sure you are a part of our community on Facebook, Instagram, and Twitter

We are grateful to partner with young people and their organizations as they build transformative power and change our future in real time. 

impeach and remove trump

Alliance for Youth Action Network Calls for Impeachment and Removal of Trump

The Alliance for Youth Action is a national network of youth-led organizations. We work to welcome and engage young people year round in our democracy – whether it’s at the voting booth, or as we work toward building loving, safe, and thriving communities via our local, state, and federal advocacy efforts. 

Since he announced his run in 2015, President Trump has enacted unending harm on our communities. Despite our racist electoral college system and in the face of voter suppression and a global pandemic, young people organized their peers and made their voices heard in the 2020 elections, propelling a new Administration forward. On a day that should have been an uneventful transfer of power from one Administration to the next, armed vigilantes attempted a coup to destroy our already fragile and imperfect democracy. Let’s be clear: Trump and his allies incited this attack on our country. All involved must be removed from office or resign.  

We demand that Trump and allies in Congress who encouraged these treasonous attacks are immediately held accountable. This means: 

  • The House and Senate must immediately move forward to impeach President Trump and prohibit him from running for public office ever again. 
  • Immediate expulsion of members of the House and Senate who intended to stop the certification of the election. 
  • An investigation into the complete breakdown of security that interrupted the House and Senate from doing their job to certify election results and instead allowed an angry mob of white nationalists to storm the Capitol. 

Protestors in DC and across the country who fight for the dignity and humanity of Black people are met with violence when expressing their first amendment rights. Yet yesterday, an armed white mob whose very public goal of destroying our democracy was allowed into our nation’s Capitol. This is white supremacy at work. 

We support Rep. Cori Bush (MO-01)’s resolution calling for the expulsion of Members of Congress who have incited an armed extremists and sought to overturn the results of our election. We support Rep. Ilhan Omar (MN-05) filing articles of impeachment against the President. We demand the Senate do their job and move forward to impeach the President. 

Young people know that our democracy is nowhere near perfect. Organizations in the Alliance for Youth Action network have been on the forefront of fighting to make our democracy more accessible and equitable for young people, people of color, and low income communities in their respective states and localities for more than a decade. Yesterday serves as a sobering reminder of the extent of the work that remains to realize the just democracy our people deserve. 

Join us and demand action by signing the Working Families Party Petition now.

This is how we build for the long haul

When young people are invested in, we all win.

The power of peer-to-peer organizing to turn out the youth vote is amplified when supported by us all. In 2020, despite a pandemic, historic uprising, and economic crisis, young organizers innovated and transformed events, relationship building, and local organizing work to meet the moment. And we won. 

Take a deeper look into some of the youth-led, grassroots organizing from our network that broke youth voter turnout records and propelled President-elect Biden to victory.

We won by organizing in our communities every day, year-round.  Here is a snapshot at some of our network’s greatest local victories in 2020:

  • After two years of rallying and advocating, Leaders Igniting Transformation was successful in getting Milwaukee Public Schools to vote unanimously to end contracts with the Milwaukee Police Department.
  • Chicago Votes celebrated a historic primary election as Cook County Jail became the first-ever jail polling location thanks to the passage of their bill the previous year.
  • New Era Colorado’s (NEC) total universe of previous registrants and voters who pledged to vote turned out at 86%.
  • MOVE Texas’ get-out-the-vote efforts were instrumental in reaching record-breaking early vote turnout in four counties where more young people voted early in 2020 than the entirety of 2016.
  • The Asian Community Development Council distributed over 75,000 multi-lingual voter guides contributing to record voter turnout in the AAPI community in Nevada.

Learn more about all the victories our network won in the 2020 general election here.

People power at the local level is key to real political, cultural, and social change. The Alliance network builds power by creating political homes for young people to fight for our communities and build towards a better future. These political homes foster and develop the skills of young people to take action in their communities by testifying, marching, and fighting for progressive policies that will help our people thrive. This is how we build a movement that is truly of young people, by young people, for all people.

Help us continue this work. Invest in local youth organizing for the long haul. 

When we build the political power of young people, we create a better future for us all.

How President-elect Biden can meet the demands of young people

There would be no Biden-Harris victory without young voters, and specifically young voters of color. On January 20, 2021, when President-elect Biden and Vice President-elect Harris are sworn in, the young voters who elected them will continue the fight for a big, bold policy agenda. It is crucial that those demands are centered by the new Administration. Our latest poll with Civiqs of young progressive voters in battleground states shows just what that bold future looks like.

Fifty-one percent of these young voters report that the most important issue for the Biden Administration to address is the coronavirus pandemic, which has been a top issue for nearly all of our pre-election monthly tracking polls. When asked which policy would be most important for the Biden Administration to implement on day one, young voters said rent payments should be cancelled during the pandemic. This is most important for young Black voters. The coronavirus has had devastating health and economic effects on young people and our families, and we are eager for a new president to take aggressive action. 

In the first 100 days, the top priority for the young voters who elected Biden and Harris is to end migrant separation at the border and reunite families. That demand is closely followed by increasing taxes on the rich, cancelling rent payments during the pandemic, ending gerrymandering, and cancelling student loan debt.

Finally, while the 2020 general election may be over,  young people will continue to build power in their communities. As Alliance network organizations demonstrate every day, the work is powerful because it’s year-round. Fifty-one percent of young voters polled say they are extremely motivated to be involved in civic engagement and politics in 2021. Young voters are also looking for political parties to better reflect their values with 44% reporting they are interested in alternative options to the two-party structure. 

Explore the full poll results including Biden’s campaign outreach, how young voters changed their voting behavior to ensure their vote was counted, and more here. Then, share the results on FacebookTwitter, and Instagram.

Generation Z and Millennials will continue to be the biggest voting bloc for years to come. They are more than the margin of electoral victory, but rather the base mobilizing for the issues we care about most. The Biden Administration and the Democratic Party must show that they are willing to bring the issues young people care about to the table and have robust plans for how to address them. 

"Young people decided this election" above pictures of young people organizing

Local youth organizing won a brighter future for us all

The voters have decided. More Americans have voted for Joe Biden than any candidate in US history, and he has surpassed the 270 electoral college threshold to confirm his election as president. Joe Biden and Kamala Harris will be the next president and vice president of the United States. And it was young people – and specifically youth of color – who took their organizing from the streets to the ballot box to save our democracy. 

As projections from CIRCLE show, at a minimum, youth vote turnout across the country increased by five points from 2016 and possibly increased by as much as 10 points. Young people and people of color decided this election.

The Alliance for Youth Action network has been building towards this election for years, and we’re proud of the work these youth-led and focused organizations contributed to this moment. This success is because organizations in the Alliance network know that all politics is local and youth organizers put in the work to ensure record-breaking turnout also resulted in wins at the local level. Here are just a few highlights showcasing how the Alliance network organized locally to turn out the youth vote and fuel wins across the finish line up and down the ballot: 

  • New Era Colorado successfully defeated the abortion ban and helped propel John Hickenlooper to the Senate. 86% of the young people they registered to vote turned out! 
  • Leaders Igniting Transformation made 1.3 million calls, sent 2.1 million texts, and sent 250,000 pieces of mail to turn out young voters in Wisconsin and help flip the state blue.
  • Poder in Action mobilized the youth vote in Arizona to turn out for progressive wins like legalizing marijuana and flipping the state blue for the first time since 1996.
  • MOVE Texas’ get-out-the-vote efforts were instrumental in reaching record-breaking voter turnout in four counties in Texas where more young people voted early in 2020 than the entirety of 2016. 
  • Mississippi Votes helped win the measure to change the Gubernatorial elections to direct popular vote instead of the electoral college style system. 
  • Next Up’s endorsed ballot measures including expanded access to drug addiction treatment and recovery services all passed. They also helped the Democratic Secretary of State candidate win her race.
  • Engage Miami organized young voters to help pass Amendment 2, which raises the minimum wage to $15 an hour, a huge win! They also were able to get Daniella Levine Cava, Miami-Dade mayor-elect, to support 9/10 of their Young People’s Policy Priorities.
  • Washington Bus endorsed Referendum 90, which calls for comprehensive sex ed to all students, and it passed.
  • Asian Community Development Council in Nevada and North Carolina Asian Americans Together mobilized young AAPI voters to turn out contributing to 83% of Asian youth supporting Biden
  • New Hampshire Youth Movement mobilized young voters to turn out and 2/3 of the local candidates they endorsed won their elections.
  • Ohio Student Association helped flip the Franklin County Prosecutor seat and won one Ohio Supreme Court seat.

There would be no Biden-Harris victory without the youth vote, specifically the votes of young people of color, but there would also be no Biden-Harris victory without the strong local organizing power of young people – including those who cannot vote – to turn out their peers, families, and communities. There would be no Biden-Harris victory in Wisconsin without the work of Leaders Igniting Transformation who ran the largest young voter engagement program in the state, all while getting Milwaukee police kicked out of Milwaukee Public Schools. There would be no Biden-Harris victory without the work of New Era Colorado who not only propelled Hickenlooper to victory, but helped to defeat an anti-abortion ballot measure. There would be no Biden-Harris or Mark Kelly victory without Poder in Action, who focuses much of their issue organizing work holding Phoenix Police Department accountable for murdering members of their community.

While we are laser-focused on the year round fight to build political power alongside young people across the country, today we celebrate the power of Generation Z and Millennials in making this victory possible. 

Let’s celebrate because when democracy wins, we win. 

3 young people with i voted stickers

The youth vote is flexing its power

November 3rd Update

Election Day has finally come and we already have a lot to celebrate. 10 million young people have voted early and even more will be heading to the polls today. The youth vote will make history. But this didn’t come out of nowhere. This was the result of years of grassroots organizing from youth-led organizations in the Alliance for Youth Action network. 

Here is just a glimpse of the work these organizations have done this year to mobilize young people and fight for our future.

  • 85, 765 voters registered 
  • 3,623,357 calls made
  • 4,932,560 texts sent
  • 1,291,759 voter guides distributed
  • 4,200 volunteers recruited

Young people are also on the right side of history, and through local, youth-led organizing, the Alliance network is making change every single day across this country and today will be no different. 

For those who have yet to vote, today is the last chance to make your voice heard at the ballot box. Follow the lead of young people and be a voter. Find your polling place at our #VoteReady hub and make sure you know your voting rights

We know that this election is like no other. It is the most important election of our lives and everything is at stake, but young people are fighting and winning for a better future for us all.

October 27th Update

We are days out from Election Day and young people are already winning. Five million young voters have already cast their ballot and many more are expected to vote early ahead of November 3rd1. By mask or by mail at the ballot box, drop box, or mailbox, Generation Z and Millennials are already voting in high numbers – but we take nothing for granted because this is the most important election of our lifetimes.

The Alliance for Youth Action network has been organizing non-stop to get out the early vote. Organizations have recruited hundreds of volunteers to reach young and new voters to talk about their early voting options and what to expect on their ballot. The network has also developed essential voter guides that break down the candidates’ stances on the issues young people care about and describe what the ballot amendments or measures mean so young people can confidently vote up and down the ballot. Additionally, organizations are facilitating relational organizing events where young people can encourage their friends and family to vote early. 

New Era Colorado handing out Voter Guides and Poder in Action’s Youth Poder organizers at their Brujxs con Boletas event.

Alliance organizations are also getting creative with their early voting outreach. Engage Miami plastered the city with Vote Early billboards and bus stop signage. Forward Montana is hosting an extended Student Voter Day (four days long this year!) to ensure Montana students cast their ballots early.

On Vote Early Day, MOVE Texas partnered with Harris County and MTV to pass out voter survival guides, masks, hand sanitizer, and swag outside of one of Houston’s mega polling centers.  Poder in Action’s Youth Poder program hosted a socially distant block party called Brujxs Con Boletas (Witches With Ballots) where young people could fill out their ballots together and celebrate voting early. Detroit Action hosted a Just F**kin Vote Music Festival featuring local artists and vendors to help young people learn about voting early and the power of their vote.

Early Voting signage from Engage Miami and Detroit Action at their Just F**kin Vote Music Festival.

If you haven’t yet, join the millions of young people who are voting early and protecting our democracy. Head to our #VoteReady hub on our website to make your early voting plan today. Already voted? Help us spread the word on Facebook, Instagram, and Twitter to your friends and family to vote early and be an October voter.

1https://circle.tufts.edu/latest-research/absentee-and-early-voting-youth-2020-election