The Alliance Network is ON FIRE!

The Alliance Network has been putting in hella work to get young people registered before deadlines hit. So far the network has registered over 100,000 young people to vote and counting! Take a look at some of the inspiring work our folks are leading!

  • This Saturday Chicago Votes is partnering with the Chicago Women’s March to host their 4th annual Parade To The Polls! If you’re in town, join thousands of young people as they lead the parade down Chicago streets to early vote polling locations.  
  • MOVE Texas has registered 29,007 young people across Texas (San Antonio, Laredo, Seguin, San Marcos, Austin, and more!) making this their biggest year yet!
  • This weekend, the Midwest Culture Lab & Ohio Student Association is hosting a convening in Columbus where artists, creatives, and organizers from the Midwest will come together to co-create content around issue and electoral work popping this fall.
  • Young people in Durham, NH broke the voter turnout record in this years midterm thanks to the work of the New Hampshire Youth Movement and friends!
  • Engage Miami hosted a rally and press conference at Miami Dade Community College to mark the last day to register to vote in Florida. The event was filled with food, music, and a deeply engaging conversation about the importance of voting this November. Engage has registered 7,020 people in total!
  • Forward Montana is hosting a series of candidate forums in key cities and counties across Montana including Gallatin County, Missoula, and Yellowstone County. These forums feature  candidates running for County Commissioner, County Clerk, and State Representative.
  • Pennsylvania Student Power Network is hosting a kick back for young people to mingle and strategize around issues that are their top voting priorities. This event will be a mixture of community building and training where leaders from campuses across Philly will learn how to utilize  their voter guides and make plans to host parties at the polls!
  • New Era Colorado has registered 38,000 people to vote so far this year! With a week left to get folks registered in Colorado, they are only 2,00 away from their 2018 VR goal!

We are 26 days away from a historic election and we couldn’t be more proud of the work our network is leading on.

Don’t forget to watch or catch up on our weekly round-up on Instastory!

9,094 voters registered on National Voter Registration Day!

This week, we celebrated the largest National Voter Registration Day ever! The Alliance network  threw down on Tuesday to register young voters across the country and empower our generation to turn out on Election Day.

On National Voter Registration Day, 13 organizations from our network registered…are you ready for it…9,094 voters! And we are still counting final voter reg numbers from folks.

National Voter Registration Day was a whirlwind of a day. In addition to registering the hell out of young people, our network also had a digital reach of 1.6 million  impressions.

Here are a few of our favorite highlights from our network, check us out!

  • Hillary Clinton gave the Alliance, MOVE Texas, Leaders Igniting Transformation, and New Era Colorado some love on Twitter. Wow!
  • Minnesota Youth Collective and Engage Miami worked with RISE to Win to register voters alongside the MN Twins and the Miami Dolphins! Go team, GO!
  • Forward Montana brought out the dogs and vote goats for an epic NVRD event. Who let the dogs out? Forward Montana!
  • LIT blessed us with this iconic tweet
  • MOVE Texas crushed their voter registration record last year by registering 5,375 voters! Everything is BIGGER with MOVE Texas!
  • Even the Alliance staff got in the field Tuesday to register voters in Baltimore!

Want to see more? For a full rundown of what happened in the field on National Voter Registration Day, check out our Instagram Story here.

Thank you for celebrating the democracy heroes in our network who register voters every single day and then turn all the way up on National Voter Registration Day each year. This is what young people’s political power looks like.

It Is A Big Day For Democracy

Today is one of our favorite holidays, National Voter Registration Day! It’s the country’s largest single-day effort to register voters, get Americans excited about our democracy, and have a rockin’ time while doing it.

The Alliance co-created National Voter Registration Day in 2012 to get more people registered, more people voting, and more people participating in our democracy. As one of the founders of this youth-driven holiday, we are stoked to celebrate this year by supporting hundreds of college campuses & college students to register students to vote as part of our Campus Takeover.

With our partner Young Invincibles, we have supported over 500 college campuses, from Hawaii to Maine, to participate in the Campus Takeover. We have created toolkits, shared resources, hopped on the phone, and granted $25,000 to students and organizations so they can put on the highest quality voter registration events possible.

Today, the Alliance Network is putting pedal to the metal and organizing events all over the country to register thousands of voters. And, yes, we mean thousands. Our network will often register the most voters out of any National Voter Registration Day partner in the country. Just check out groups like MOVE Texas, the Oregon Bus Project, Forward Montana, and more who have been preparing for National Voter Registration Day for months! Following our social media to see what our network is up to today – and get all the positive feels about good, local, work in our democracy.

Voter registration is something we love and do every day. It is part of the fabric of the Alliance. We are stoked to be a founder for such an incredible holiday and to see it grow each year. While our network will be out today registering voters as part of the holiday, we’ll be out tomorrow all the way up to voter registration deadlines.

Happy National Voter Registration Day and happy registering!

The Midwest is for the Culture!

Amidst the many programs, expansion, and partnership work happening here at the Alliance, we forgot to tell you about an exciting new program we’re housing for the cycle. It’s called the Midwest Culture Lab, and its purpose is to increase the civic engagement of young people in the Midwest by integrating cultural organizing and story-driven content with grassroots, youth organizing.

This spring we partnered with experts in marketing, advertising, and culture to create a story platform by young people of color in the Midwest in order to tell a more authentic and holistic story about their lives. This summer we hired cultural organizers and put out a call to emerging creatives across the region to tell the unsung stories of their communities centered around joy, resistance, and transformation!

This is bigger than getting the cool kids more engaged in politics. We’re working with over 50 creatives (and paying them!) to create their best content using the story platform “Co-created by us, real, and with joy!: The world we need.”

And because everything we do is centered in the field, this work is anchored by affiliates and partners at Chicago Votes, Ohio Student Association, and Michigan’s We The People.

We believe that politics is where some of the people are some of the time, but culture is where all the people are all of the time which is why we are so excited to develop programming that joins local influencers, culture creators and community organizers to co-create more just communities that reflect the values of the people.

To learn more the Midwest Culture Lab visit our website or watch this webinar for a more in depth explanation.

Welcome our newest staff to the Alliance fam

We have some exciting news, the Alliance family is growing! We are so lucky to announce the newest members to the Alliance staff, otherwise known as M³!

Check them out!?

Malaya Davis  

Associate Communications Director

Malaya is from Cleveland, OH and is a founding member of the Ohio Student Association! She got her start organizing at Wright State University around issues impacting Black students on campus. While at OSA, she helped lead fights in Ohio to stop “Stand Your Ground”, bring justice to John Crawford II and Tamir Rice, and get prosecutor accountability. Before coming back to the Alliance family, Malaya worked at the Color of Change as a campaign manager for their criminal justice department where she was able to sharpen her storytelling and digital organizing skills. Malaya is hella excited to tell the whole world about the amazing work that the Alliance network is doing!

Mark Hatton

Director of Electoral Engagement

Mark Hatton is a native Floridian who’s coming to the Alliance with a background in electoral work, issue advocacy, and organizing. He’s worked on higher education advocacy and within campaign structures – pushing to ensure young people and the issues they care about were heard and centered. Mark also loves all things Star Wars, iced tea, and diet coke, and is looking forward to supporting our network of awesome organizing!

Marisa Slifka

Operations Coordinator

Marisa is joining the Alliance with a background in operations and advocacy. From her time working as an office manager at a boutique DC lawful to teaching students from all over the country how to advocate for themselves and the issues they are about, her new role at the Alliance is a perfect match! She’s the mommy of a happy dog named Annie, named after her grandma who was originally a gift to her grandfather, and she owned a goldfish named Ruth Beda Finsburg. Marisa’s expertise is what our operations team needs to thrive!

From operations to communications, electoral work, storytelling and more, we’re so grateful to expand our capacity to ensure our network is getting the support it needs to thrive.

Starting next week, we’ll be sending regular updates from across the network. In the meantime, check out our Instastory where Daniela is highlighting updates from the field every Friday!

Announcing Our Newest Affiliate, Minnesota Youth Collective!

At the Alliance, we believe in building powerful youth organizing homes that are explicitly locally-led and youth-led.

Which is why we are beyond excited to announce…

Our board of directors just formally approved a new Alliance Affiliate and home for young organizers and activists in the Twin Cities – Minnesota Youth Collective!

Young people are the largest age group in Minnesota – that’s some serious power that the Minnesota Youth Collective is ready to flex. This organization was thoughtfully built by statewide partners and is led by its fierce founder, Emily Wellen, an Alliance alumnus herself and former national program staffer at the then Bus Federation! MN Youth Collective has already welcomed an incredible staff of eight that’s building power across the state (& they’re still hiring)!

While less than a year old, the team has already hit the ground running – coordinating student walkouts for gun safety, training young people across the state in all things organizing, hosting March for Our Lives Road to Change activists, and registering voters like it’s what they were born to do (over 2,000 voters registered already this year)!

You can follow their work to engage and empower the largest age group in the state on Facebook, Twitter, and Insta or make a contribution to their work here.

We’re inspired and re-energized every time our family gets a little bit bigger…

Field So Hard

Can you believe it’s already June? Summer is in full swing and so is our network. We’ve got some BIG updates and wins from across the country that we’re honored to uplift this week:

 As part of the Ohio Organizing Collective, Alliance affiliate Ohio Student Association, is supporting a ballot initiative that will reclassify drug possession felonies as misdemeanors and reinvest millions of dollars into drug treatment and community-based recovery programs. Next week, 100 out-of-state allies will meet in Columbus and join in-state teams to close out signature collection for the initiative. The week will wrap up back at Columbus Pride, an event that an estimated 500,000 people attend. We moved resources to support this effort and hope others will too!

 Last Tuesday, our affiliate MOVE San Antonio celebrated their 5th birthday in a big way – by unveiling MOVE Texas. They have been Mobilizing, Organizing, Voting, and Empowering a new generation across San Antonio and have expanded to reach young people in Seguin, San Marcos, and Laredo. Their new name better reflects the scope and depth of MOVE’s work in Texas and we’re so excited to celebrate this moment alongside them.

In Chicago, HB4469 is on the verge of making history after passing the Senate. This bill championed by our affiliate Chicago Votes would set up a formal process to ensure people have access to the ballot and understand their voting rights are restored upon release and it would make Cook County Jail the first jail in the country to be an official polling location, nbd. Learn more and urge Governor Rauner to sign the bill.

Our affiliate in Wisconsin, Leaders Igniting Transformation, celebrated a big win at the school board level after their students fought to strike an incredibly dangerous provision of proposed discipline policies that would have mandated police be called on students for “suspected criminal activity.” LIT’s vigilance and leadership in Milwaukee Public Schools is what will dismantle the school-to-prison pipeline.

One of our newest youth organizing partners, New Hampshire Youth Movement, is working with a coalition of organizations to protect the right to vote by pushing Governor Sununu to veto HB372 and HB1264 – bills that would suppress voter participation, particularly of students.

Our affiliate, Washington Bus, is gearing up their Tuition-Free College campaign, collecting stories about why students are #BrokeAF and hosting public events where young people can hold their elected officials accountable and shape what the Seattle Promise program could look like.

Young Progressive Policy Group – New York, our youth organizing partner, is fiercely fighting to lower the New York voting age to 17 by championing a bill that also ensures NY high school students are fully educated in civic participation and streamlines the process of voter registration by encouraging students to register in the classroom.

Finally, our affiliate New Era Colorado hosted their annual Toast to Democracy on Wednesday, bringing together hundreds of New Era friends and allies to celebrate and support youth-driven democracy. Happy 12th birthday, New Era!

Staying rooted in building local power and supporting the young people leading the charge is how we win. We couldn’t be prouder to work alongside a network that is transforming the landscape of their local communities, cities, and states to build a society worthy of our generation.

In Solidarity,

The Alliance team

Dawn of a New Day

We are just days away from the 2018 Alliance Network Conference where we’re bringing together 24 of the best youth-led and centered grassroots organizing groups who are driving young people electoral engagement efforts this fall. We’ll be covering team management, operations and compliance, organizing electoral campaigns, fundraising, addressing anti-oppression internally and externally for our organizations, and of course, relationship building across the network – because we know we are stronger together than we could ever be apart.

But that’s not all! Next week also marks the first full week of our newest Alliance team member! Meet Dawn Boudwin.

Dawn is the new Director of Program and Partnerships at the Alliance. She joins the family with nearly 10 years of experience in campaigns, organizing, and coalition building with previous gigs at AFSCME, America Votes, and the Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee. Originally hailing from the great state of North Carolina, Dawn is joining the DC office to take the lead on national partnerships and manage our incredible program team. When not fighting for our generation, Dawn can be found exploring a new city and its food scene, searching for new vinyl to add to her collection, and enjoying time with her family (especially her 8 year old nephew) and friends.

We’re stoked to have Dawn on the team and hope y’all will join us in wishing her a warm welcome. You can send her your congratulations here.

And the Alliance isn’t the only one that is growing. Our network of affiliates and youth organizing partners across the country are also welcoming new young leaders into their ranks at this very moment. We rejoice in the opportunity to build power alongside such an inspiring group of young people, and we can’t wait to all be in the same room prepping for one of our biggest years yet.

Stay tuned,

The Alliance Family

Building Young People’s Political Power, from #NationalSchoolWalkout and Beyond

When students were murdered at a Parkland High School, we were heartbroken at more loss of life in our nation’s public schools. Like many of you, we have been inspired by the survivors who have shifted the public conversation away from fruitless thoughts and prayers to civic engagement, voting, and direct action.

Although most of our groups have not historically focused on gun violence, young people in our communities have taken us there in recent weeks. Newly engaged young activists from across the country have been reaching out to ask for help in organizing marches, rallies, walkouts, and of course, voter registration. And our network has answered with an enthusiastic hells yeah!

From Missoula to Miami, Chicago to Denver, Portland to Erie, Providence to Columbus, we have been blow away by the incredible actions across the network. It’s taken us 2 days to uplift all of their work on social media because there has been so dang much. The power of long-term organizing in communities is that even if we’re not known to work on a specific issue, the organizations in our network are trusted peers, partners, and allies when it comes to taking action alongside our nation’s youth.

To help support these activations, we were so lucky to receive rapid response support from a few donors (thank you!), which means $90,000 will be going to 17 organizations over the next week to support rapid response youth organizing between now and the April events.

At the same time, here at the Alliance, we want to be clear about our role in this work. We recognize that very few of our groups work on gun violence prevention. And if they do, it’s usually through the lens of organizing against the school to prison pipeline and uplifting its impact on youth of color. At a minimum, we want to ensure that these newly engaged young people have local, youth-led organizing homes to grow their skills and keep fighting for social justice. Ending up on a national email list is not good enough; this generation deserves so much more. That’s why we’re working to help organizations in our network scale to add additional paid organizing staff and student interns to mobilize these newly engaged activists in the long run.

And we want to make sure that folks are aware of and supporting groups like Community Justice Reform Coalition, an organization that centers black and brown communities at the nexus of gun violence prevention and criminal justice reform (if you haven’t heard of them, please check them out!). CJRC is filling a much-needed gap in the gun violence prevention movement – one where most impacted communities are too often forgotten or ignored. We know that only when groups like CJRC are uplifted will we ever be successful in this fight, and we hope you check them out.

For a closer look at the amazing work that took place around the country, take a look at our social on Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram.

Much love and appreciation,

Alliance team

The New Executive Director

We’re thrilled to be bringing on a brand new Executive Director, Sarah Audelo, who many of you already know from her work in national activist and youth organizing spaces. She’s smart, she’s driven, she gets it done.

Who is she? Here’s a snapshot bio: A Latina who grew up in California’s central valley, Sarah served as a teacher in Texas’s Rio Grande Valley, worked as a policy advocate in Washington DC, and ran youth vote for Hillary Clinton in Brooklyn. She can talk policy with the wonks, walk turf with the hacks, pitch reporters with the flacks, and get real with anyone. We’re lucky to have her!