New Era Colorado: Young Voters To The Rescue

Student organizing group New Era Colorado is out with a new video today that’s quickly going viral with tens of thousands of views in just a few hours–the launch of their This is Why We Vote campaign to mobilize young voters for the upcoming elections:

Faced with an election which is anything but usual, New Era Colorado has launched an innovative campaign encouraging young voters to show up in large numbers this November. The campaign, This is Why We Vote, focuses on a Colorado-centered video, which puts issues firmly at the center of why young people will make their voices heard this election.

“This election shouldn’t be about a candidate’s recent gaffe; it should be about our future,” says New Era Colorado Executive Director, Lizzy Stephan. “There are some very serious issues at stake in this election, like whether we’re going to seize our last opportunity to address climate change or the fate of millions of hardworking undocumented immigrant families who don’t know what the future holds. This is what our generation cares about—this is why we vote.”

The video, which can be viewed at ThisIsWhyWeVote.org, is centered around a poem read by Toluwanimi Obiwole, a prominent spoken word artist in Colorado and Denver’s first Youth Poet Laureate. Toluwa, a previous intern at New Era Colorado, was born in Nigeria, raised in Colorado, and is currently pursuing an ethnic studies degree at the University of Colorado…

Research shows that young people are less likely to vote out of party loyalty or the appeal of a candidate, but instead vote in order to create change on the issues they care about. A line in the video “we know that protest can coexist with process” is a nod to the theme of the millennial generation generally endorsing acts of both civil disobedience as well as political participation.

Young “millennial” voters are emerging as a potentially decisive bloc in this year’s presidential elections. Despite attempts to inject a sense of “weakness” for Democratic presidential nominee Hillary Clinton in favor of Donald Trump in the conventional wisdom, polls focused on younger voters show Trump very weak with them.

With Trump seemingly no more able to win over young voters than any other demographic besides old white guys, the focus for GOTV messages to these voters must be one of values overcoming a natural tendency toward complacency. Cynicism among young voters in this crazy, ugly election is probably the biggest obstacle to getting them to make the effort.

We like this video for placing its message about the noise–and talking about the values that motivate us to participate in political team sports to begin with.

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