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Can You Spare Some Change?

January 6, 2011 Front Page 1 Comment

A very familiar scene: you are exiting the highway and getting close to your destination. As you pull up to the light, you see someone standing there with a sign stating that they will work for food. Familiar scene right? Have you ever seen someone whose work is something that you would have to go back to school to be able to do? How about someone with such a talent that even if you did go back to school it would be unlikely that you could match their abilities? Meet Ted Williams.

How often do we make judgments on people and situations at a glance? How often do we look back and realize that the judgment we made was anything but correct? It is easy to justify our impulse decisions but admitting that those hunches were wrong is kind of like pulling teeth. In general people seem to have a very unforgiving opinion of others who have found themselves at the mercy of society. However when a story like the one of Ted Williams surfaces, we are forced to take a second look.

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GO VOTE! Watch vids @ Nov2nd.org

November 2, 2010 Front Page, Solutions No Comments

Today is the election day, have you voted yet? Maybe these celebs can help persuade you:

And then you should:

Click here to find your polling place, OR

Txt 411 + YOUR HOME ADDRESS (i.e., “411 123 Smith St Brooklyn NY 11218″) to 69866 and we’ll txt you your polling place!

Then go online and facebook/tweet your vote!

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Looking Again

October 15, 2010 Front Page No Comments

Recently I had been doing a considerable amount of self inventory. In our effort to register 1000 voters (which I am proud to say we achieved), I have had countless conversations with young people who would not even consider taking a minute to listen to what I had to say once they saw a clipboard in my hand. For those who did stop and listen and even register, a large portion of them would display utter disbelief when I said that the canvassing effort that we were conducting was essentially a volunteer effort. I can imagine that maybe 10 years ago; I may not have been as receptive to the idea of volunteering as I am now. Good thing I decided to look again or I would not have been granted the opportunity that I have to make a significant change in my community.

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Can Everyone Be Reached?

I get a personal joy from registering young people to vote for the first time. I am always excited when I come across 17 year-old young people and I get to let them know that they can vote as soon as they turn 18.  Since President Barack Obama has been elected, it seems as if the consensus among young people has changed from apathy to excitement.  This leads me to believe that the political and social change we envision is happening with the young people. Yesterday, I realized that half the people that I spoke with and registered were under the age of 20.  In several years, these young people will be the policy-makers, legislators, and law enforcers.  On the other hand, those who choose not to engage will be the victims of the process. My job is to remind them that even being a victim is a choice.

I realized then that the political process can start with voter registration and dialogue about the political process.  From the conversations that I have had with various young people, I have realized that they are not regularly in practice of speaking about the political process or what is encompassed in the realm of politics.  Based upon my conversations with young people during the voter registration campaign, I realized that young people are not being engaged on their level by policy makers or adults who understand the process. They are, however, being engaged by music videos and popular culture. I am curious about how to blend the two because the ones who resist engagement are the ones who embrace the false reality created by pop culture and mainstream media. My question is this: how do we as community organizers engage the young people who are in opposition to the very process that determines the projected quality of life for us all?

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LYVEF Hits Up Tucson to Train Local Youth!

This week the League of Young Voters Education Fund will be in Tucson, Arizona training young leaders ages 13-21 to stand up and be the change that they want to see. The training is being presented by the NonViolence Legacy Project of the Culture of Peace Alliance.

Yesterday, Jayme Montgomery-Baker (Wisconsin State Director) and I were greeted by the Tucson community with song, food, and open discussion about the issues affecting Arizona. Gang Violence, SB 1070, Dream Act, Voter registration, and HB2281 were some of the issues discussed at the circle. The LYVEF is honored and humbled for the opportunity/invitation to inspire, educate, and train Arizona’s young adults during such historical times. You can feel the excitement, emotion, and passion in the air; The Federal Government has filed a lawsuit against the state of Arizona, protests are taking place on the streets, McCain is running for reelection, and LYVEF is here doing what we do best!

The young people that we have had the pleasure to meet are some of the most passionate and dedicated of this generation and definitely operating from an “Opposition to Proposition” state of mind.

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