We just received word of a new youth-led organizing project, the Down Ballot Disruption Project. This is an amazing undertaking, and we wanted share the news about it in their own words:
“The Down Ballot Disruption Project is a youth-led electoral program with the mission to give young people across the country the training and resources needed to turn out the youth vote to defeat Trump, elect progressive down ballot leaders in their districts, and foster engaged communities that sustain political momentum beyond November 3rd. So many young people are restless for a call to action that they can see themselves in, but inadequate or inaccessible electoral training has made deep engagement in the political process daunting at its best, and impossible at its worst – especially for low-income folks and people of color. We can all agree that failing to unseat Trump this November is not an option. But to win, really win, young people have to turn out in record numbers for races at all levels of government.
“What makes the Down Ballot Disruption Project unique is that it was created and is run entirely by organizers aged 14-25 with training specifically focused on how to mobilize other young people to not only engage but take ownership of electoral politics. As leaders, we also have deep experience specifically with organizing and training for local and state elections, and have a track record of success, having played a key role in flipping several local elections in 2018.
“At the beginning of September, we’re hosting a two-weekend-long electoral training program reaching an anticipated 150 young people and giving them critical skills to take with them back to their communities. We’ll teach everything from voter registration techniques during COVID, phone and text banking, building powerful candidate narratives, endorsement strategies, plotting a campaign arc, student-specific get-out-the-vote, and much more. At the end of the training, participants will be grouped into location-based cohorts with an assigned coach who will support them through the election.
“During the 8-week program that follows after the training, we hope to have:
- 150 young people (at least 50% people of color) trained in electoral organizing skills;
- 25 strong grass-roots cohorts on the ground across Pennsylvania, Wisconsin, North Carolina, Arizona, and Texas;
- 30 state and local candidates endorsed by DBD cohorts;
- 100,000 voter contacts by phone and text banking;
- 25,000 new voters registered in our 5 priority states; and
- increased voter turnout among voters aged 18-24 and voters in minority communities
“Like many movements, DBD will rely on people’s willingness to devote volunteer hours to this work. However, we have a commitment to accessibility and reparative justice that requires additional financial support for those who cannot afford to volunteer without pay. Without marginalized communities fighting on the frontlines of this election, we will lose.
“That’s why we’re fundraising to support working-class folks and people of color to register record numbers of new voters, educate communities about mail-in ballots, uplift the narratives of inspiring progressive candidates, and get out the vote to end the Trump regime for good. We know that communities of color and voters aged 18-24 make up the biggest voting bloc in the country, and the best way to reach those voters is with people who share experiences with them and can relate directly to those critical communities.
“We’re asking for your support and potential partnership, to help us enable young people to turn out the vote in this unprecedented political moment.
“Our movement is stronger than ever, and I’m proud to be in it with you in the tumultuous months to come.”
To learn more about the Down Ballot Disruption Project, visit www.downballotdisruption.org. You can also find them on Facebook and Instagram. To donate to support their work, visit secure.actblue.com/donate/downballotdisruption#.