June 21, 2021, Washington, D.C.—Today, advocacy groups Generation Progress and the Declaration for American Democracy coalition are announcing the launch of the DFAD Youth Working Group to ensure that the voices and perspectives of young people are heard in the fight for a fair and representative democracy. The working group, which will be part of the broader DFAD coalition, will bring together youth-led and youth-centric organizations to collaborate on efforts to pass the For the People Act and the John Lewis Voting Rights Act—two pieces of legislation that would greatly impact young Americans. The pro-voter reforms included in the For The People Act, such as automatic voter registration and pre-registration for 16- and 17-year olds, would make voting simpler and more accessible for young people, and the bill’s provisions to end partisan gerrymandering and reduce the influence of big money in politics would pave the way towards action on the issues that young people care most about, like climate change and gun violence prevention.
In response to historic turnout in the 2020 election, lawmakers in 47 states have introduced or passed over 360 bills that would restrict voting access, particularly for people of color and young people. For this reason, it’s more important than ever that young people and students have a space in the pro-democracy movement. This working group will amplify and support youth-led democracy work that is happening on the ground in key districts and create opportunities for young people to engage in and lead this work.
“Young people are disproportionately impacted by the current flaws in our democracy, and we recognize the significance that legislation like the For The People Act could have on our lives,” said Edwith Theogene, the director of advocacy at Generation Progress and leader of the Youth Working Group. “Beyond protecting our freedom to vote, which is of critical importance, the For The People Act would also ensure that the will of the voters carries more weight than the priorities of big money interest groups, paving the way towards action on the issues that young people care about.”
Initial projects for the working group include spearheading digital days of action, authoring and circulating a youth sign-on letter in support of the For The People Act, and coordinating multiple lobby days.
So far, organizations that have signed on to the youth working group include March for Our Lives, Blue Future, Next Gen, and Un-PAC.
To learn more about the working group or to speak with Generation Progress about the launch, contact Emily Leach at email@example.com.