ICYMI: Dakota Hall of the Alliance for Youth Action joins The Daily Beans and Gaslit Nation to discuss young voters, the use of data in elections, what young voters desire, and the 2022 midterms

For Immediate Release: 

November 8, 2022

Press Contact:

Carmel Pryor


WASHINGTON—With just days to go until the midterm elections, Alliance for Youth Action Executive Director Dakota Hall joined progressive podcasts to discuss how we can build a sustained youth coalition, and the historic nature of the Gen-Z electorate. 

Catch Dakota’s appearance on The Daily Beans here

Catch Dakota’s appearance on Gaslit Nation here

Highlights from Dakota Hall’s Daily Beans Interview:

“We believe that power is built locally, and while we can all turn on the news every single night and see the disorganized mess known as Congress, young people have been able to make significant changes locally and fight for their values, their democracy, and their country, at levels like school board and city council. What we’re really doing here is creating life-long civic learners.”

“I love how we have been able to activate thousands of young people—tens of thousands of young people in the last few years—who are tired of the incrementalism in this country to see big bold changes that we were promised.” 

“We have built out a data infrastructure in our network that really allows local organizers to identify the hardest-to-reach voters and really make sure we are engaging them every single day, not just for the election…What we have been able to do is really build a year-round organizing mechanism that sees young people in civic engagement every single day.”

“The data there is being able to show who are gonna be the young people hardest to reach, who have been marginalized in our system, who have been told democracy does not work for them, who has seen democracy not work for them, who may have a relative who is unable to vote because we have such a high mass incarceration problem in this country.”

“We need to engage [young people] daily and not just pop up at their university in late September talking about voting. You really have to get them well before that. You have to build a community for them. You have to understand the social issues that are impacting them and that way they can find a community for themselves—and a political home is what I really think we have with our 20 organizations

“There are more than 8 million young people this year who are eligible to vote , that were not eligible the last major election…that means that there are 8 million new opportunities to engage young people in our democracy. Almost half of those 8 million people are young people of color, further showing that the Gen Z electorate is one of the most diverse electorates in our country’s history.

“The Democracy Debut Campaign is to celebrate the fact that this is the most civically-engaged generation we have had in a while, and we want to roll out the red carpet to ensure that these young people are being greeted with an accessible, multi-racial democracy that works for everybody.”

“In 2018, young people had their largest turnout in a midterm in history. In 2020, again, the largest youth voter turnout in a presidential election, and I don’t see any reason why that trend will not continue to move forward.”

“I am super excited where we are at for the 2022 midterm election, because I think young people are understanding that their vote has an impact on this country…if young people come out and vote, that changes the election.”

“We have some of the most amazing, dynamic, young leaders in the country now running for office who are 18,19, 20 years old, and that is so amazing for this country to see this Gen-Z generation step up and say we want to be elected officials.”

“I think across our 18 states that we work in, we are going to see some pretty drastic youth vote numbers, and I think that energy will continue after the election which is the most important thing.”

Listen to Dakota’s interview on The Daily Beans here

Highlights from Dakota Hall’s Gaslit Nation Interview:

“When you talk to young voters you have to understand that presenting the same status quo is no longer acceptable. Incremental change to young voters is not necessarily what they are looking for. Young voters who are looking for candidates who can express their values of what they stand for—not necessarily what they stand against.

“Often times what young people are asking for are actually very achievable things that we should have already done. Paying people a living wage in this country is not a moonshot idea. Giving people access to healthcare is not a moonshot idea.”

“Our groups not only work on campuses, but they work inside of communities to reach the hardest to reach voters who have been disenfranchised by the system.”

“Often times elections are short term, incremental campaigns. But what we are trying to do is not only bring people into this midterm, but bring them into a long-term political infrastructure that continuously has leadership development opportunities for young people to continue to grow.”

“We are rolling out the red carpet for what we’re calling Democracy Debuts, to ensure that young people who are coming out for the first time to vote are really being highlighted in this election.”

“When I think about where we’re at with the rise of authoritarianism, white nationalism, now more than ever every vote counts… We see close elections all throughout the country, this notion that your vote does not matter could not be less true in this moment.”

“In 2018 and 2020 we have seen groundbreaking, record-setting engagement from young people in voting. And we hope that trend continues and we are going to need all hands on deck to make sure that happens.”

The prediction I’m willing to make is that young people are pissed the f*** off. They are angry that this country has set them up for failure. They are angry that social security nets and social barriers are being broken down. They are upset about the fact that we took away the constitutional right for a woman to gain access to an abortion.”

“We have to make sure that every young person in this country gets his lunch at school, that they don’t fear gun violence, that they can have a planet that they can inhabit when they are an elder..that they can have a living-wage job when they get out of college and not be bound by debt.”

Listen to Dakota’s interview on Gaslit Nation here

If you’re interested in booking an interview with Dakota Hall, please reach out to erika@firesidecampaigns.com.