ICYMI: “Youth for the Win!” Alliance for Youth Action Livestream Event on How Young People Will Decide the Midterms

For Immediate Release: 

September 22, 2022 

Press Contact:

Carmel Pryor


WASHINGTON Yesterday, the Alliance for Youth Action, the premier youth organizing network in the country, held its first-ever livestreamed event uplifting the powerful electoral and issue engagement work that young people in the Alliance Network are leading from coast to coast as we head into the midterms. 

The event included panels featuring nine Alliance Network Executive Directors from across the nation who are getting out the youth vote ahead of the midterms:

Viri Hernandez, Poder in Action

Amanda Avalos, Leaders Igniting Transformation

Chavi Koneru, North Carolina Asian Americans Together in Action

Eric Jeng, One APIA Nevada

Branden Snyder, Detroit Action 

Arekia Bennett-Scott, Mississippi Votes

Davis Hammet, Loud Light

Stevie Valles, Chicago Votes

Prentiss Haney, Ohio Student Association

Watch the Livestream Here

If you are interested in speaking with Alliance for Youth Action Executive Director Dakota Hall and/or any Alliance Network Executive Directors about how they are mobilizing young people on-the-ground and empowering young voters to engage in the electoral process ahead of midterm elections, please reach out to Carmel Pryor (press@allianceforyouthaction.org).  

Check out some of the best quotes from the event below: 

Stevie Valles, Executive Director of Chicago Votes

“Back in 2017, we started registering voters inside the Cook County Jail by going inside to the different tiers at the jail once a month and registering the folks there. We then quickly realized that, though we were registering these folks to vote, their ability to actually cast their ballot was still facing a boundary because there were no polling locations inside the jail. So we drafted a piece of legislation that would turn the Cook County jail into a polling location. It took us two years to pass that legislation, but we did eventually pass it. We want to pass laws that will make our society better. And in order to pass those laws, we have to work with the people that we put in office. We have been working to reform our institutions over the past decade to make sure more people have access to the ballot.”

Arekia Bennett-Scott, Executive Director of of Mississippi Votes

“Mississippi is a different ballgame, I think at the center of this, this nation’s problems are white supremacy and patriarchy. I think about how each and every legislative session in the Mississippi state legislature put forth their best split to take away women’s reproductive freedom. We have an election every year in Mississippi, but every year reproductive justice is also on the ballot, whether it is a candidate or a ballot initiative. I think we can all agree that voting is probably one of the most important tools we have at our disposal.”

Davis Hammet, Executive Director of of Loud Light

“Just like some people’s stereotypes about the south, it’s the same about how people think about Kansas and other states. They’re not really like the stereotype you have, they’re suppressed states, right? That’s the truth here where people write off Kansas. But they don’t understand the context of the decades of voter suppression in Kansas. This is a prelude to our abortion amendment vote because the anti-choice groups were actually, for the last several years, trying to push slates of voter suppression bills explicitly to try to guarantee the passage of this amendment that would allow them to totally ban abortion in. And they did successfully pass some of that voter suppression, really targeting young people, making it where you can be potentially charged with a felony for even registering voters. That’s because we’ve always known Kansas, just like basically every place in the country, is pro-choice abortion. That basically every state agrees should be a personal decision and accessible.”

Prentiss Haney, Executive Director of of Ohio Student Association

“…In a democracy, the one thing that can stop us is our own imaginations about what’s possible. This country has been built on someone else’s imagination, and we are finally allowing our imaginations and our dreams to be what this country can be. And while we are receiving backlash, this is a backlash because of power. We are in a place where our dreams are becoming. And student debt is one of those fights. The Ohio Student Association, which was founded in 2012, one of our anchor issues from the very beginning was eliminating student debt because we know that this debt is not only a burden. It is a saddle on the backs of too many black and brown folks who are trying to get a great start at life.”