graphic of 8 young asian organizers in 8 frames

Meet Asian Youth Organizers of the Alliance Network

We saw a major increase in Asian youth voter turnout in the 2020 election. This remarkable jump in turnout, the biggest increase among all groups by race, was fueled by the power of peer-to-peer organizing by young people who run local organizations like those in the Alliance Network. Youth organizers knew that to move our country forward it was critical to center young voters of color, including young Asian voters.

This month, we are featuring young Asian organizers in the Alliance Network who are building political power in their states during and beyond elections. Get to know them, learn about their stories, and how their identities influence their work.

picture of an asian woman, Erin Lee, in front of a pond

ERIN LEE

She/Her | Raleigh, NC
Youth Organizer at North Carolina Asian Americans Together (NCAAT)

▼ How do you organize in your community?

I currently work as the Youth Organizer at NCAAT (North Carolina Asian Americans Together). My role is to support the efforts of our Youth team in educating and empowering Asian American youth in North Carolina. In particular, I oversee our Youth Ambassadors program, a paid volunteer program for young Asian Americans to engage in and bring awareness to NCAAT’s work.

▼ How does your identity and heritage influence your organizing work?

On the worst days, being Korean American brings up a lot of complicated emotions that I channel into grace, empathy, and kindness for others who also feel like outsiders wherever they go.  On the best days, pride and gratitude for my identity as a child of Korean immigrants (now American citizens) and as a third-culture kid drives my passion for action and service. The oppression I face and the privileges I have as a Korean American woman is something I think about very seriously and it impacts the way that I move through my work.

▼ When speaking directly with young AAPI voters, what do they say are the most important issues to them? What matters to you?

Many young AAPI voters tell me about their passion for environmental justice, healthcare access, and racial justice. I think the societal and cultural context speaks for itself and a lot of what young AAPIs are trying to solve are the issues that they see around them and online. They’ve been handed a lot of problems that they didn’t ask for. I think especially recently with the recent attention on anti-Asian violence, a lot of them have been reflecting on their place in American society and what it means to be Asian American.

▼ Is there a lot of AAPI representation in the communities you organize in? How does that impact how you organize? What are the challenges and opportunities because of this?

Since we are an Asian American organization, within our space at NCAAT, we definitely see more diverse representation of AAPIs. However, not every ethnic or identity group is always represented and outside of our own Asian American spaces, it is incredibly difficult to find AAPIs in the broader nonprofit and advocacy space. It makes us that much more cognizant of doing everything we can to include and uplift voices outside of our own. It is definitely uncomfortable, but it pushes us to keep going because we know how much work there is still left to be done.

▼ There was a massive jump in AAPI voter turnout last cycle. How did your work relate to this? Why do you think there has been such an increase in young AAPI voter turnout? 

As I joined the organization after the elections, my part in the huge increase in AAPI voters showing up to the polls last cycle is limited to my own ballot and my role as poll worker. I think one big factor for this great AAPI turnout was the incredible work and effort that nonprofits and organizations all over the nation took to educate our communities and stir up their political interest. Secondly, more Asian immigrants who came over in the influx of Asian immigrants in the last two decades have become citizens and their children are growing up.  These voters know that they have a voice and they’re going to make it heard. 

Young asian woman outside in the grass smiling

Ileana Rivera

She/Her | Boulder, CO
Organizational Fellow at New Era Colorado

▼ How do you organize in your community?

 I organize with Boulder Valley Mutual Aid and Denver Community Fridges to combat food insecurity and provide gear to our unhoused neighbors in the greater Denver Area.

▼ How does your identity and heritage influence your organizing work?

 As a BIPOC person with immigrant family members, we’ve always heard that you’re supposed to pull yourself up from the boot straps, which I do not agree with. The brightest future I can see, we’ll get there together.

▼ Is there a lot of AAPI representation in the communities you organize in? How does that impact how you organize? What are the challenges and opportunities because of this?

 I think a lot about the model minority myth, and how many Asian Americans feel the pressure to achieve, rather than “complain”. But in reality, using your voice even at the lowest level of organizing is one of the most powerful things you can do. There is solidarity in numbers, and representation. The communities I organize in are predominately white spaces which is unfortunate because I feel like a lot of the work and emotional labor is put on BIPOC folks.

Young asian woman in business attire in front of building

Kristina Samuel

She/They | San Antonio, TX
Civic Leadership Fellow at MOVE Texas

▼ How do you organize in your community?

For a little over a year, I have been organizing with MOVE Texas and am coming up on the 1 year anniversary of starting a chapter of the nonprofit at my University, Texas A&M. We have since then led a successful GOTV initiative on our campus and surrounding Brazos county area, have recruited active members involved in our community such as climate change lobbying and phone/text banking, expanded to a fully VDR trained officer team, and have established our presence as a student organization on one of the largest college campuses in the country. I personally have also served as a poll worker during a presidential election year and have testified in the Texas Senate this past February in front of the redistricting committee against gerrymandering. I seek to contribute as an individual and on behalf of the chapter I started at my university to broaden the impact of civic engagement and progressive policy advocacy in my community as much as I can.

▼ How does your identity and heritage influence your organizing work?

Identifying as a first generation Asian American has definitely played a role in my organizing, especially on my college campus. It is an interesting dynamic however, in being mixed race and not necessarily looking of Asian descent. I am half South Indian however, I have been mistaken to be of many different ethnicities, usually not of Asian heritage. It makes it hard to stay tied to my very prevalent Indian culture that I grew up with and feel as if the community supports me back. However, it has made me extremely self aware in the perceptions and preconceived notions that can be made about peoples’ identities and experiences. It constantly plays a role in organizing in that I attempt to create the most inclusive and safe spaces, even if it isn’t something that is considered “normal”. Although not easy, I believe that my identity has given me a unique insight that I am now proud to carry into my organizing work.

▼ When speaking directly with young AAPI voters, what do they say are the most important issues to them? What matters to you?

Some of the most important issues are recognition and awareness, both for the civic engagement process and simply representation of our leaders from the AAPI community, which there is a great lack of. Personally, seeing representation in our leaders is so empowering as it gives me hope that I too have the ability to pursue the things I am passionate about and be able to uplift underrepresented communities.

▼ Is there a lot of AAPI representation in the communities you organize in? How does that impact how you organize? What are the challenges and opportunities because of this?

Going to a PWI, I would have been inclined even six months from now, to say that there is definitely not. For the most part this holds true, but in collaborating with the Asian President’s Council, a student organization at my school, I have seen that there is a significant dynamic and diverse AAPI community that has passions and needs that must be addressed. The biggest challenge has been proving ourselves to be a prominent demographic on campus, but it has also given me the great opportunity to meet so many passionate and hardworking AAPI student leaders who strive to make real change in our community. I also am a Student Senator at my University, who ran as a RepresentAsian candidate. Part of my mission is to dedicate my work to representing the AAPI student body and this translates to the lens in which I organize with my nonprofit work.

▼ There was a massive jump in AAPI voter turnout last cycle. How did your work relate to this? Why do you think there has been such an increase in young AAPI voter turnout? 

The common theme especially in this youngest voting generation is the dynamic need for change. In the AAPI youth community, our awareness of the lack of representation in our elected officials and policies with a general disregard for BIPOC communities has really led to a resurgence in our voter turnout. This, in combination with the recent rise of Anti-Asian hate crimes across the country has made the push to make our voices heard that much more imperative through civic engagement.

Young Asian woman smiling in front of flowers

Linda Phan

She/Her | Seattle, WA
Legislative Intern and Organizer at the Washington Bus

▼ How do you organize in your community?

I have been an active community organizer ever since I began working with social justice movements in high school. Right now, I’m involved with the Emerald Youth Organizing Collective and Youth Voices for Justice, two prominent youth-led organizations focused on racial justice, abolition, and youth activism.

▼ How does your identity and heritage influence your organizing work?

Being Vietnamese has played a large role in my drive to pursue positive change for marginalized communities. As a byproduct of U.S. imperialism, war, and displacement, the trauma of systems of oppression across the globe has been felt dramatically by both myself and my family. 

▼ When speaking directly with young AAPI voters, what do they say are the most important issues to them? What matters to you?

In accordance to the model minority myth, many AAPI voters feel uncomfortable speaking on issues that are important to them because they feel indebted to the U.S. for allowing them to seek refuge in a country that ironically played a large role in their displacement. However, many AAPI voters have rejected this sense of the model minority and spoken up against instances of racial injustice, especially against our own communities. Many have called attention towards instances of hate crimes targeting AAPI that go as far as to attack our elders. However, in my opinion, I wish other AAPI recognized that in order to stop Asian hate, we need to also have the same energy towards instances of racism that harms other communities, and recognize that such instances are not isolated to individuals but by the entire system of white supremacy that harms all people of color. These issues are central in my decisions when I vote.

▼ Is there a lot of AAPI representation in the communities you organize in? How does that impact how you organize? What are the challenges and opportunities because of this?

I wouldn’t say there’s a lot of AAPI representation because of an overlying fear of betraying a country that generally provides so much more opportunity than that of our homeland, and for the little representation we do have, it’s typically light-skinned East Asian individuals. This really impacts how I organize because it exposes the intense anti-Blackness and colorism within many AAPI spaces. This is challenging because it creates a clash of interests between AAPI organizers; when fighting against racism, we fail to acknowledge the racism in our own communities.

▼ There was a massive jump in AAPI voter turnout last cycle. How did your work relate to this? Why do you think there has been such an increase in young AAPI voter turnout? 

I think it has to do with dismantling internalized guilt and fear around criticizing American politics. In addition, more youth are being involved in activism, which can also explain the AAPI voter turnout. The widespread disdain for the Trump presidency amongst several communities of color may have also served as a call to action for voters.

Headshot of young Asian man

Louis Zheng ZhongYi Anderson

He/Him | Las Vegas, NV
Community Outreach Coordinator at the Asian Community Development Council (ACDC)

▼ How do you organize in your community?

I organize my community by encouraging fellow young API individuals to turn out to discuss what issues they most care about.

▼ How does your identity and heritage influence your organizing work?

As a first-generation immigrant, my heritage and identity play a considerable role in my work. Having this experience helps me better understand what members of the API community need.

▼ When speaking directly with young AAPI voters, what do they say are the most important issues to them? What matters to you?

When speaking with young voters, I notice many of them, myself included, have concerns about the amount of representation API individuals get in media and government.

▼ Is there a lot of AAPI representation in the communities you organize in? How does that impact how you organize? What are the challenges and opportunities because of this?

Representation for the API community has been steadily growing, and there has been a noticeable increase in the number of young API individuals who turn up to public events. The challenge we are now facing to continue fostering the growth of the API community is there is a separation in the different Asian communities, especially with older members.

▼ There was a massive jump in AAPI voter turnout last cycle. How did your work relate to this? Why do you think there has been such an increase in young AAPI voter turnout? 

I would attribute the jump in API voter turnout last cycle to better voter education. Many API organizations are doing their best to get people registered and understand the importance of their vote and what it means for our community.

Young asian woman smiling and posing in front of the Washington Monument

Meha Khanna

She/Her | Boulder, CO
Organizing Fellow at New Era Colorado

▼ How do you organize in your community?

I organize in my community by connecting with other People of Color that are underrepresented. At New Era, we make it a goal to support young people in creating change and progress. We do this by putting on events to educate and encourage others to do tangible work that supports antiracism and encourages community engagement. 

▼ How does your identity and heritage influence your organizing work?

As a child of Indian immigrants, I am passionate about the right for all to gain citizenship. People of Color immigrants specifically are often disrespected in American society due to accents and other differences that come with being a non-naturalized person. This influences my organizing work because I have made it a goal to stand behind and support all immigrants in the United States. This means going to rallies, signing petitions in support of immigrants and being a strong and true ally. Seeing my parents be Othered to an even greater degree than I am simply because of their accent and language difference pushes my passion continuously for community work

▼ When speaking directly with young AAPI voters, what do they say are the most important issues to them? What matters to you?

Young AAPI voters want equal pay. Although AAPI have a larger accumulation of wealth, we are still paid less than white people when accounting for education. This is commonly due to discrimination. Young AAPI voters see the discrimination against our community not only in the recent COVID-19 based events but for centuries. I have also seen the ways the model minority myth has been harmful to the AAPI community. This pushes us into unrealistic standards and expectations as intelligence is not a race-based category. The mental health of AAPI has suffered for generations due to this myth which needs to be put to an end.

▼ Is there a lot of AAPI representation in the communities you organize in? How does that impact how you organize? What are the challenges and opportunities because of this?

There is not a lot of AAPI representation in the community I organize in, as Boulder, Colorado is a largely white community. This impacts how I organize because I often feel unsupported in my work within Boulder, Colorado itself. This creates challenges due to the feeling of being an outsider and the lack of ways my voice is supported and elevated. Regardless, New Era Colorado itself is a diverse work environment which has given me the opportunity to create community with other AAPI and BIPOC. 

▼ There was a massive jump in AAPI voter turnout last cycle. How did your work relate to this? Why do you think there has been such an increase in young AAPI voter turnout? 

This massive jump in AAPI voter turnout is extremely encouraging and exciting! My work relates to this because I work at the Colorado Democracy Challenge, getting high school students pre-registered to vote and encouraging voting age people to cast their ballot as well. I think there was such an increase in young AAPI voter turnout due to the blatant racism against our community by our own leadership that encouraged hate crimes and other racist behavior. 

Young asian woman smiling on a street with colorful houses and cars

Rittika Pandey

She/Her | Austin, TX
Development Associate at MOVE Texas

▼ How do you organize in your community?

Throughout college, I was an active member of the Asian Desi Pacific Islander Coalition (ADPAC) on campus. That was what allowed me to be part of a community of other like minded Asian-Americans interested in understanding social justice, voting rights, and the cultural issues that we face as a collective community in the US. After graduating, I saw working for MOVE as an opportunity to continue those discussions and activism beyond my immediate community and work in collaboration with other communities to ensure we were building a better Texas!

▼ How does your identity and heritage influence your organizing work?

I come from a family of organizers, educators, and artists, so activism has always been a huge part of my identity. The women in my family have been vocal advocates for social justice causes in India for generations and being the first generation of women in my family to be in America affords me an entirely different privilege in the organizing space. I am able to work in an intersectional capacity where I am not just uplifting those that are like me, but all other communities that face challenges in the US, but specifically Texas. Working closely with Black, Latinx, Indigineous, LGBTQ+, and other marginalized communities has instilled a stronger sense of solidarity with the causes I have always advocated for within my own community.

▼ When speaking directly with young AAPI voters, what do they say are the most important issues to them? What matters to you?

Many young AAPI are not politically active and that unfortunately often translates at the polls. They are usually not as engaged because they feel that the issues don’t apply or don’t matter to them, but that’s definitely not true. When I would register AAPI students to vote on campus I would focus on highlighting issues around immigration, education, and healthcare, as those are the areas that often affect the AAPI community most. All of those issues matter to me deeply, but I also view criminal justice reform and climate change as extremely pressing issues in the US that do affect the AAPI community more than they would normally think. Bringing those issues to their attention also helps get young AAPI voters engaged and active in politics.

▼ Is there a lot of AAPI representation in the communities you organize in? How does that impact how you organize? What are the challenges and opportunities because of this?

Unfortunately, I would say there really is not a lot of AAPI representation in the communities I organize in. Beyond the AAPI coalitions I am part of, the participation of AAPI individuals in the general organizing sphere is often limited. As a result, I am sometimes one of the only ones representing us in these spaces. That is a challenge at times because AAPI issues are not then brought to the forefront of discussions and our community also cannot be as engaged with the intersectional ways in which social justice can work in a state as diverse as Texas. However, being one of the few AAPI individuals in a space that has mostly individuals from other marginalized communities has given me an incredible perspective on how I can use my voice to uplift theirs. I love being part of diverse organizing efforts because I am constantly learning so much from the folks in those communities and I am always glad to be part of anything that will bring BIPOC or LGBTQ+ voices forward.

▼ There was a massive jump in AAPI voter turnout last cycle. How did your work relate to this? Why do you think there has been such an increase in young AAPI voter turnout? 

I believe the work MOVE did had a huge impact on bringing young people of all communities to the polls! I do think that the increase of participation from the AAPI community, specifically young voters, was partly due to an increase in social media activism and the spread of resources. That had a huge impact for many young people this election and I think it really helped bring young people into the political sphere in a way that made these issues approachable for them.

Zaha Khawaja

She/Her | SanAntonio, TX
Executive Intern at MOVE Texas

▼ How do you organize in your community?

I definitely still have a long way to go, in terms of learning how to be an effective organizer, but MOVE Texas has been influential in my journey to becoming one. Being a former Field Organizing Intern and current Executive Intern for MOVE, my time here has taught me how to organize within a traditional and nontraditional scope. Formerly working in the field has taught me the importance of engaging in meaningful conversations with my community. I would go from college campus to campus in San Antonio and talk to young students about local issues that matter to them. This would help foster interactions that emphasize youth action in local and national politics. These conversations would extend beyond the ballot box and really hone in on issues that impact our community on the daily, from housing to environmental justice rights. Moreover, I’m currently organizing in a more nontraditional context, one that I would say is overlooked within nonprofits. As an Executive Intern, I focus my efforts on supporting the behind-the-scenes of how a nonprofit, like MOVE, functions. This position has really taught me how fundamental each department within the organization is. I have learned that one does not have to necessarily be out in the field to do organizing work, but can also carry out administrative tasks that ensure the building of relationships and fulfill the vision of the organization.   

▼ How does your identity and heritage influence your organizing work?

My identity and heritage influence the organizing work I do immensely. Being a first generation South Asian, Pakistani-American woman has taught me the challenges my community faces daily. It has also taught me how these challenges intersect within other marginalized communities (Black, Indigenous, Brown, Latinx, LGBTQ+ etc.) in America and globally. These negative perceptions have made me aware of how much work still has to be done to liberate our communities to ensure justice for all. My identity will always play an impactful role in the organizing work that I do and helps me to better understand why we need to abolish the oppressive systems we have in place. 

▼ When speaking directly with young AAPI voters, what do they say are the most important issues to them? What matters to you?

When speaking directly with young AAPI voters, some of the most important issues to them are rooted in the feelings of displacement and loss of identity they feel. I have noticed how the AAPI community has had a difficult time in navigating their heritage and truly embracing it, because doing so causes isolation within society. Additionally, the influx of targeted racial injustices has been harmful to the AAPI community in being able to live their lives safely and comfortably. Personally, forming solidarity with other marginalized communities is something that matters to me. I would like individuals within the AAPI community to realize that the issues they face are not unique to them. These injustices cross borders and are rooted in imperialism, capitalism, colonialism etc. It is important that we highlight this, in order to empower people and sustain grassroots movements globally.    

▼ Is there a lot of AAPI representation in the communities you organize in? How does that impact how you organize? What are the challenges and opportunities because of this?

I believe AAPI representation is still limited within the communities I organize in, and for the most part, the limited representation that is available simply appeases the oppressive systems we have in place. I feel as though this lack of representation really discourages people to be civically engaged. However, I am more hopeful with younger generations challenging the narrative of representation and what it means to them. The youth are critically engaging with politicians and shifting the discourse of how representation does not mean much if the people “representing you” assimilate and play a role in passing harmful policies both locally and globally. 

▼ There was a massive jump in AAPI voter turnout last cycle. How did your work relate to this? Why do you think there has been such an increase in young AAPI voter turnout? 

As aforementioned, I feel as though younger generations are engaging more critically with politics. They recognize the crucial role elections, specifically municipal elections, play in shifting power to marginalized communities. MOVE has done an amazing job in ensuring that there has not only been an increase in voter turnout within underrepresented communities but that this advocacy goes beyond the ballot box. 

Young asian woman posing in front of a pond in traditional Bangladeshi clothing

Ziya Joy

They/Them | Durham, NC
Youth Engagement Organizer at North Carolina Asian Americans Together (NCAAT)

▼ How do you organize in your community?

I am the Youth Engagement Coordinator at North Carolina Asian Americans Together. I develop and execute much of our programming from monthly workshops that help educate, engage, and uplift high school and college aged Asian American youth to specific education and skill-building opportunities like our Youth Leadership Institute for high school students. I will also be overseeing our internship program which is a paid part-time internship through NCAAT that gives young people the chance to develop their skills and experiences in community engagement, communications, youth organizing, and voter engagement & advocacy in the context of Asian American social justice work. 

▼ How does your identity and heritage influence your organizing work?

As someone of Bangladeshi descent, I think a lot about liberation struggles. Bangladesh gained independence in 1971 through a Liberation War after surviving a brutality of partition and a genocide by the Pakistani army. The politics of postcolonial states are complex and troubling, but these resistance movements give me hope in the global fight against oppression.
Admittedly, it can be difficult navigating an identity that has next to no visibility. But I have taken that space to find my own way, lean into a process of perpetual learning, and find community and recognition in people whose struggles are different from but connected to my own.

▼ When speaking directly with young AAPI voters, what do they say are the most important issues to them? What matters to you?

A lot of young Asian Americans that we work with have told me about their desire to be in solidarity with other communities of color in working towards racial justice, their passion for environmental justice, and their broader hope for a more socially just world.

Personally, I am deeply invested in racial justice, which to me must also include internationalism, anti-imperialism, and anti-colonialism. More than anything, I wish to see a world where all of us can be safe, have our needs met, and thrive. 

▼ Is there a lot of AAPI representation in the communities you organize in? How does that impact how you organize? What are the challenges and opportunities because of this?

NCAAT works primarily within the Asian American community. I think this allows us to really organize and strategize with an Asian Americans base in mind. We’re given the space to think about our language barriers, our different cultural issues, our unique immigration stories and challenges, disparities within our communities, and how data collection impacts our community members. It’s really beautiful and exciting to have the time and resources to do that. At the same time, it can be intense to feel like one of the only groups doing this work, so the goal is to definitely see more Asian Americans take up all kinds of organizing work.

▼ There was a massive jump in AAPI voter turnout last cycle. How did your work relate to this? Why do you think there has been such an increase in young AAPI voter turnout? 

I am a more recent addition to the NCAAT team, so I was not involved in NCAAT’s brilliant GOTV efforts. However, I am still incredibly proud of the work that our staff members were able to do in helping push those numbers up. I think a lot of non-profit workers and community organizers have really committed to the long-term work of political education and base-building within our communities, and it shows! 

6 headshots of organizers behind the text "joy, resiliency, innovation"

Joy, resiliency, innovation: Our 2020 Annual Report 🎉

We always knew that 2020 was going to be a pivotal year for our country, but we had no idea everything we would face from a global pandemic to the historic uprisings against police violence. Young people persevered, innovated, and made their voices heard in one of the most important elections of our lifetime. Youth-led organizations in the Alliance Network brilliantly rose up to meet the moment and build alongside the most diverse and progressive generations our country has ever seen.

Now, you can learn about all the youth organizing power that made this happen, in our 2020 Annual Report, “Joy, Resiliency, and Innovation”

In 2020, Millennials and Gen Z accounted for 31% of voters, up from 14% in 2008 according to data from Catalist. So, all eyes were on the youth vote and young people delivered. By organizing their peers in person and online to meet the challenges of this uncertain time, the youth organizers in the Alliance network changed the narrative about the power of the youth vote. In 2020, we saw a record-breaking 11-point increase in youth voter turnout from 2016! 

How did this happen? Year-round, youth-led organizing. Alliance organizations register, educate, and mobilize young people every day because our civic engagement does not start and end at the ballot box. In 2020 this looked like:

  • 25,000,000 youth voter contacts made
  • 107,494 young people registered to vote
  • 8,396,885 calls to young voters
  • 6,502,136 texts to young voters

When organizations were not turning out young people to vote, they were passing progessive policies in their communities. From removing cops from schools to expanding voting access, young people took action to build brighter futures.

The Alliance fueled this work by investing in young leaders, providing critical tools and services, regranting millions of dollars to the field, and strengthening the capacity of the network because we are committed to building strong organizations for the long haul.

All of this is just a small part of everything the Alliance Network accomplished last year. Luckily, we have captured it all in our newly released 2020 Annual Report. 

Once you’ve checked out our amazing report please share on Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram.

Headshot of Biden smiling

100 Days in Office ✅ Did Biden Deliver?

This week marks President Biden’s 100th day in office. Join us on Twitter tonight as we live tweet President Biden’s Joint Address to Congress where he will share his vision for addressing the challenges and opportunities of this historic moment. 

In November, we polled young progressive voters in battleground states on what they wanted to see from the Biden Administration in the first 100 days. Here’s what they said:

poll listing the top issues young people want Biden to address in his first 100 days
See the full poll results here

President Biden has addressed some of these issues like continuing the moratorium on eviction and  supporting legislation to end gerrymandering. He has also made gains on other issues such as COVID-19, climate justice, gun violence prevention, and more. However, there is still much work to be done to address the most pressing issues facing young people like student debt cancelation, free college, ending the filibuster, a $15 minimum wage, passing the John Lewis Voting Rights Act, and more. 

The youth vote launched President Biden and Vice President Harris to victory and we will keep pushing these policies until they are passed. So, join us on social tonight and make your voice heard!

Join us on Twitter as we live tweet President Biden’s Joint Address to Congress.

Get in on the fun on Instagram and take part in our Biden Bingo! Fill out your bingo card, post it to your Instagram, and tag the Alliance at @allianceforyouthaction. Participants will be entered into a drawing for one of our fabulous Alliance bandanas.

Youth organizing does not stop at the ballot box. The Alliance Network will continue putting pressure on the Biden Administration and members of Congress to pass policies that young people care about most.

on a white background blue text reads this is democracy done right

We Are Building a Democracy Done Right

The fight for voting rights is making headlines all across the country. But this isn’t a new fight for us. The local youth-led organizations in our network have led and won voting rights fights in their states for years providing a roadmap for the nation. We amplify their local victories – pre-registration to automatic voter registration –  to create a nationwide movement building a democracy that works for all of us. 

And this week, we are shining the spotlight on this work through our Democracy Done Right campaign.

Starting today, we will be sharing on social media what #DemocracyDoneRight looks like. Each day, we will focus on different pro-voter reforms local, state, and federal elected officials can implement to build a voting system that works for all.

  • April 20: We are focusing on reforms that make the voter registration process as accessible as possible.
  • April 21: We will focus on expanding voting methods so that every voter can vote the best way that works for them.
  • April 22: We will focus on efforts to restore voting rights to people who are incarcerated or were previously incarcerated.

Join the conversation on Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram. Then, tell us what you think #DemocracyDoneRight looks like and tag us!

To building a voting system that works for all!

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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.