Just like that, summer has come to an end.
As the leaves turn, and the rain greets us – we want to take a moment to reflect on all of the wonderful memories we made this summer.
From intentional community building in Clackamas County with awesome summer base building fellows, a sweet celebration of over 20 years of youth power, and launching our very first internal participatory budgeting process, Next Up had a packed and joyful summer.
Heading into the fall we’ll continue building youth power through our electoral organizing, youth leadership, and civic engagement opportunities.
Youth Leadership & Organizing
Sweet Dreams: Celebrating 20 Years
In August, Next Up & Next Up Action Fund celebrated our 20th birthday party, Sweet Dreams, bringing together community members, youth cohort participants, and organizational partners.
Together, we raised over $14,000 which goes towards our work to support, develop and mobilize young people for a more just and equitable Oregon. We’re also grateful to our community who helped raise over $600 through our raffle, which is went towards two local groups: Fires Igniting the Spirit and Spirited Justice.
After completing a 1-year internship at Next Up for his social work program, Charlie DuCharme officially joined us to support our work through development and operations! Charlie (he/him) is a young queer activist from Seattle who is committed to understanding systems of oppression that have impacted and harmed marginalized communities.
We hired three amazing Clackamas Fellows this Summer – Sitara, Sashank, and Ben. Through this internship, the Clackamas Fellows did critical work to intentionally build relationships and recruit young people in Clackamas county to join our cohorts, events, and issue advocacy efforts.
Turning out the Youth Vote & Electing Values-Aligned Candidates
As Next Up Action Fund, we hired 6 paid Election Interns, who made 54,237 calls getting out the vote to young people ages 18-29 in the primary election. The Election Interns were a highly engaged and enthusiastic group of young people who were excited to talk to voters about the candidates.
We endorsed a broad slate of candidates. Of our Tier 1 candidates, Jo Ann Hardesty, Wlnsvey Campos, Annessa Hartman, and Libra Forde secured the nomination to move forward to the 2022 general election. Check out our primary election wrap-up for more!
Participatory Budgeting Process Launches
Civic engagement is an expansive opportunity to engage young people in building power, leadership, and opportunity beyond elections. Knowing this, we launched our first internal participatory budgeting (pb) process to ensure that we were equitably sharing resources and decision-making power around our internal budgeting process with the young people we work with. PB is about sharing real power, over real money.
We kicked it off in July with an awesome youth steering committee comprised of 11 members who were members of our board, internships, and current and previous cohorts – where they formed the values, rules, and process for our internal PB process.
Portland Charter Review
Since the Fall of 2021, we have been working closely with the Coalition of Communities of Color to deliver on hosting 3+ educational workshops around the Portland charter review process and engaging youth throughout this sustained effort.
In August, we challenged the city on the Charter ballot measure language to make it more accessible and understandable to voters, and we won! Now we are working towards supporting the Portland United for Change campaign and encourage a YES vote on measure 26 – 228, which will be on the November ballot!
2022 Legislative Session Wrap Up
In the 2022 legislative session, Next Up Action Fund co-led the Transforming Justice Coalition and the push to pass Online Voter Registration Modernization. We are thankful to our coalition partners and community for getting these bills over the finish line in less than a month!