What was your favorite part of summer ’23? Was it catching Oppenheimer and the Barbie movie on the same night? Beyoncé’s Renaissance Tour? Speak Now (Taylor’s Version)? Or this season of The Bachelorette?
Ours was seeing all of the incredible work youth organizers in our network put in to continue developing strong leaders and turn out voters, all while taking time to rest and restore through self-care!
Here is how the Alliance Network crushed their summer bucket list:
Developing Young Leaders
Leaders Igniting Transformation
In early August, LIT brought high school students to Wisconsin’s capital for the Youth Power Summit. They spent three days training and expanding their organizing knowledge with the LIT staff.
This summer LIT also graduated 49 young people from their Black Hogwarts summer institute, a leadership program that focuses on educating young people on civic engagement, and the data and digital tools and tactics used to organize communities.
In Oregon, Next Up graduated 51 young people from the UPTURN cohort, a 4-week workshop series curated to develop the collective power of young people and support them in navigating being leaders in social movements.
Minnesota Youth Collective
MNYC recruited 12 fellows for a summer fellowship that taught basic organizing and base building skills, as well as field tactics like canvassing and high traffic tabling. The fellows knocked over 5000 doors in youth-dense neighborhoods across the Twin Cities to survey young people on issues that are most important to them.
The Washington Bus
A cohort of nine fellows from across Washington state participated in The Bus’ organizer boot camp. The fellows knocked on doors, registered voters at events, and supported WA Bus events like Bus Bash and Candidate Survivor.
North Carolina Asian Americans Together
NCAAT held a three-day Youth Leadership Institute, a program to guide young people through exploring what it means to stay grounded, nurture our present selves, and guide our ability to become future leaders.
Georgia Youth Justice Coalition
This July, GYJC closed out their annual summer organizing program, Ed Justice University (EJU), with the first annual EJU summit! This program introduces organizing strategy and opportunities to young people in Georgia from Atlanta to Savannah.
Celebrating Local Wins
In July, Engage Miami and coalition partners WON against racial gerrymanderers when a federal judge ordered the City of Miami to adopt the plaintiff map they submitted as the official district map for the City of Miami! Since then, the U.S. Supreme Court denied Engage Miami’s request to vacate an appeals court’s block on their new maps. While disappointed by this decision, Engage organizers are gearing up to continue the fight for fair maps. in 2024.
Now Engage Miami is advocating for young people’s budget priorities to ensure the city is investing in their communities and their future.
New Era Colorado
Organizers at New Era spent the summer protecting patients from “abortion pill reversal,” an unethical tactic used by the anti-abortion movements.
Ohio Student Association
OSA worked to turn out voters for the Issue 1 special election, which was an attempt by the Ohio Legislature to make it more difficult to pass abortion protections as a constitutional amendment this fall. OSA knocked over 50,000 doors in the run-up to the election. In early August, Ohio voted NO to Issue 1, a big win ahead of the fall election, by a 57-43 margin.
This summer, organizers with MOVE Texas helped Austin become the first city in Texas to endorse the Fossil Fuel Non-Proliferation Treaty. This strengthens the city’s commitment to stopping its expansion of fossil fuel production, phasing out existing fossil fuel projects, prioritizing a fair energy transition, and urging the Federal Government to prioritize climate action.
Art and Advocacy
In addition to tabling at Lollapalooza, the Chicago Votes team brought volunteers to Cook County Jail to help register voters!
This summer, Forward Montana released the third edition of Transcendent Joy, a zine for and by LGBTQ2S+ Montanans. This year’s theme is “Big Gay Planet,” which evokes the interconnectedness between queerness and nature.
The Washington Bus
In addition to graduating a cohort of young organizers, The Washington Bus also hosted Candidate Survivor, a fun and unique spin on a candidate forum ahead of the Seattle City Council election!
Georgia Youth Justice Coalition
GYJC organizers have been out all summer collecting signatures to get the fight against Cop City on the ballot, building their base of young people, and planning the launch of their Young People’s Platform, which will be the basis for their fight for a better future for all Georgians.
Youth organizers from across the Alliance Network gathered at the Palmer House in downtown Chicago for our network-wide convening, Alliance X. Bringing nearly 200 youth organizers together, Alliance X was a celebration of the Alliance Network successfully building youth power for the last 10 years, and an opportunity to learn from one another as well as civic engagement and organizational health experts from across the country.
Check out our full conference recap on the Alliance blog!