This year we’ve seen the power of investing in young people. While 2020 has been intense – with COVID-19 hitting hard, uprisings across the county in a fight for racial justice, and the biggest election of our lives looming over us most of the year – still, we see that young people are leading the fight for equity and democracy.
At Next Up, we set big goals to amplify young people’s leadership in Oregon. Here are our top 5 highlights from 2020!
1. Crushed our goals to get out the vote
We built on the power of our year-round organizing cohorts and hired 12 paid Election Interns to reach 18-29 year olds across Oregon. Our nonpartisan C3 branch alone made 72k calls and sent 216k textswith information about how to vote — an investment that helped lead to historic youth voter turnout in our state. (For the full picture of our numbers, including our C4 branch, check out our 2020 Election Wrap-Up!)
2. Contributed to an 11% bump in turnout for 18-24 year olds
We also contributed to record youth turnout by pre-registering 16 & 17-year-olds, and through the critical voter access expansions we won through Automatic Voter Registration and free voting with paid postage on our ballots!
3. Hired so many youth
In the general election cycle alone, we hired 35 interns to register their peers and make calls all over the state! All students agreed or strongly agreed they gained a deeper understanding of civic engagement, and the role that voting plays in our movements.
4. Wrote a book
We wrote a book! It’s called A Kids Book About Voting and is the newest addition to the Kids Book About series. How do people get elected? Who can vote? Is it important to vote? How does voting even work? Start a conversation with your kids about voting.
5. Grew the vision!
We’re entering 2021 with a vision to grow the team, dive into school board elections, expand our programs and our reach statewide, and so much more. There’s some incredible legislative work we’ve got planned too, including lowering the voting age (#vote16) and restoring voting rights for Oregonians in prison.
2020 may be almost over, but our work for 2021 is just beginning. Take care and we’ll see you in the new year!