Winter Wrap-Up

We’re already 3 months into 2023 and we want to share what we’ve been up to with you. This is the beginning of our quarterly series sharing our top highlights each season. 

Civic Engagement

We’ve hired 18 young people as Youth Vote Interns, a paid opportunity to do peer-to-peer voter registration for high school-aged youth, with 16 different schools represented across the Portland Metro area!

Did you know we championed the bill to be able to pre-register 16- and 17-year-olds to vote? The bill passed in 2017 and led to hundreds of thousands of young people being able to register to vote. This law is what makes our high school voter registration program possible!

Youth Leadership & Organizing

Our spring UPTURN session is launching soon! 90 people applied for 60 paid positions in our renewed and revised “Organizing 101” UPTURN cohort, where high school students across various schools develop knowledge and skills on the basics of social justice, anti-racism, and building power in their community.

Read more about our youth leadership programs and internship opportunities.

We were awarded coaching sessions with AORTA, the movement-building collective, to take our facilitation skills and curriculum development to new heights.

“The coaching sessions were more in-depth than I thought it’d be, it really forced you as a facilitator to confront your own fears as a participant and use those fears to strengthen your skills as a facilitator. It was really a full circle moment, and allowed for some serious growth.”

Iyanna Akena, Community Engagement Organizer

Issue Education

Since 2021 we’ve written hundreds of letters to people that are currently incarcerated about restoring their right to vote. This year we sent out over 450 postcards and received over 30 responses. 

Civic Engagement

It’s election time (again)! With the May 16th special election coming up, we gathered an endorsement committee of 6 high school youth, as the people most impacted by school board decisions, to recommend values-aligned school board endorsements.

Next Up Action Fund and the endorsement committee voted to endorse 16 candidates for school board elections and 1 candidate for Multnomah County Commissioner – representing Multnomah, Washington, Clackamas, Linn, and Lane counties.

Check out our endorsement process and the candidates we are supporting for School Board.

Issue Advocacy

Over the years, we’ve helped make Oregon the #1 easiest state to vote in and brought our state’s voter registration rate to over 93%. Well, we’re back at it again in 2023 with youth leading the way! So far, we had over 15 people deliver testimony this legislative session and all of our priority bills have received hearings.

This session, we’re pushing to guarantee voting rights for all incarcerated Oregonians, expand access to voter registration, implement ranked choice voting statewide, establish standards to make workgroups equitable, and so much more.

Read more about our 2023 Legislative Priorities.

Implementing Portland Charter Change

We helped win Portland Charter Change in November 2022. Our base of young people are tapped in, engaged, and informed on charter change. As implementation of the voter-approved measure begins, we continue to educate and mobilize young people around this opportunity for greater social, racial and economic justice in Portland.

Meet the Team

Our team is growing and leveling up this year! Our team grew to 8 as we welcomed Special Lovincey as our new Communications Manager and Jasia Mosley as the Civic Action Organizer. Just 2 months in, they’ve made a huge impact on our work, expanding our reach to more young people and engaging them on the issues that matter.

Say hello to Special and Jasia!