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.
The Alliance team