We’ve said it before and we’ll keep on saying it: Every. Election. Counts.
Last week, young people across the nation turned out to vote locally for some of the most important elections in their communities this year. They voted for city councils, for mayors, for ballot measures, and more.
The organizations in the Alliance Network helped turn out young voters resulting in some of the biggest victories we’ve seen in 2021. Here is how they did:
Turning out the Youth Vote
In addition to electing progressive candidates and winning on key issues, Alliance organizations did what they do best – turnout young voters! Organizers knocked on thousands of doors, distributed voter guides, sent informational texts, drove people to the polls in golf carts, hosted parties at ballot boxes, organized bike rides to the polls, and so much more.
- Detroit Action knocked on 26,000 doors, sent 90,000 texts, and made 12,000 phone calls
- Engage Miami canvassed local communities and distributed voter guides
- Forward Montana organized a door-knocking weekend of action, hosted GOTV phone banks, created voter guides, and chased ballots that were marked undeliverable in Bozeman (10% of ballots in Bozeman were undeliverable)
- Minnesota Youth Collective distributed voter guides, drove students to the polls in golf carts, and knocked doors to get out the vote.
- MOVE Texas created the Deep Cut Voter Guide informing young people about the constitutional amendments on the ballot, helped get out the early vote in six counties, organized a Pedal to the Polls event with bicyclists, and hosted a Party at the Polls for Halloween.
- New Hampshire Youth Movement knocked on over 1,000 doors to get out the vote.
- The Washington Bus hosted a Party at the Mailbox for voters dropping off their mail ballots.
Building the World We Deserve: Issue Wins
For months, Alliance organizations have been organizing on issues related to police accountability, community safety, and affordable housing. Last Tuesday, they saw the rewards of this work.
Ohio Student Association has been organizing with the Citizens for a Safer Cleveland Coalition to pass Issue 24. Issue 24 would create a new Community Policing Commission giving civilians final decision-making power in police misconduct cases. After this multi-month effort of canvassing, petitioning, and getting out the vote, they won! Cleveland voters have chosen police accountability and civilian oversight. Check out this amazing video of the Ohio Student Association as they celebrated their victory on election night.
Minnesota Youth Collective worked alongside Housing Equity Now in St. Paul to fight for rent stabilization. This ballot initiative will put a 10% limit on annual rent increases allowing housing in St. Paul to stay affordable., especially for BIPOC and low-income families. After canvassing and knocking on doors for months, the people of St. Paul passed rent stabilization! Learn more about this win here.
MOVE Texas joined the No Way on Prop A coalition to fight against Proposition A in Austin. This proposition would mandate the city spend hundreds of millions of dollars on the police department taking away key funds from firefighters, medics, and 911 call takers. The proposition would also cut services like parks, pools, and libraries and lead to a tax increase for working Austinites.
Youth Vote Approved: Endorsement Wins
From the city council to the school board, Alliance organizations endorsed a number of progressive candidates who fight for the values and issues young people care about.
New Hampshire Youth Movement Action Fund (NHYM) endorsed 18 candidates in six different cities across the state. They mobilized voters for these candidates and out of the 18, 13 of them won their races! The winners include city councilors and school board members in Dover, Manchester, and Rochester. Two of the endorsed candidates won by fewer than 40 votes! NHYM plans to meet with the newly elected officials and talk with them about affordable housing, education, public transit, and other issues impacting young people.
Forward Montana Voter Fund endorsed five candidates in local and municipal elections this year. They also knocked on over 1,000 doors in support of these candidates. Out of the five they endorsed, three of them won their races! The winners include city council members in Billings and Bozeman.
We’re in the business of building young people’s political power and we do it by engaging young people in every election, no matter how big or small. We do this work because when more young people vote, we build a better future for us all.
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