Power Vote

Thomas Friedman's latest piece in the New York Times: "Sorry, Kids. We Ate It All."

He writes: "Short of an economic meltdown, there is only one thing that might produce meaningful change: a mass movement for tax, spending and entitlement reform led by the cohort that is the least organized but will be the most affected if we don’t think long term — today’s young people. Whether they realize it or not, they’re the ones who will really get hit by all the cans we’re kicking down the road. ...But what are the chances of them getting out of Facebook and into their parents’ faces — and demanding not only that the wealthy do their part but that the next generation as a whole leaves something for this one? Too bad young people aren’t paying attention. Or are they?"

Yes, we are.  This weekend, in Pittsburgh PA, we will demonstrate that.  Let's show Thomas Friedman - and the rest of the world - that "the one thing that might produce meaningful change: a mass movement led by today's young people, getting out of Facebook and paying attention," is happening!

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“Fear is the Weapon” was inspired by the story of Tim DeChristopher, who went to federal prison in order to save 22,000 acres of land from criminal drilling by the fossil fuel industry. The video, directed by industry veteran Ron Sperling, represents so much more than one man. It represents a global movement, united by a common goal: to bring lasting social and environmental justice to this world.

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Election season is over, and organizers are finally seeing some blank spaces on their calendars. Even beyond the presidential race, the climate movement has made some real progress. Going forward, how can we convert our momentum into meaningful change? This is a great forum to generate new ideas, and I've got some thoughts to get us started.

First, let's look at where we stand now. As a group, young voters reasserted our power in this election. Despite some predictions, youth turnout was even higher than in 2008, swinging at least eighty electoral votes . Meanwhile, several states chose climate-friendly congresspeople over their anti-environmental opponents.

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There’s not a lot to say about this election that hasn’t already been said, but there’s one story you haven’t been hearing enough about: it’s a story about us, but mostly it’s a story about you.

Our generation is going to vote in record numbers, and our voices will be heard. More importantly though, your voice will be heard, on the issues and the candidates that matter to you.

Find your polling place and hours: http://www.powervote.org/vote

Once you go to the polls, make this “I Voted” badge your Facebook profile image to join our virtual vote mob.

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One of the biggest regrets I have is not voting in my first presidential election, the 2008 election.

At the time it was one more thing to think about while planning to live abroad. As the election drew near, I could feel the buzz of it in France and within the community of American students I studied with. On election night, every American student I knew in my town stayed up all night as the results came in, myself included. But I didn't know that every time after that the '08 election is mentioned, that sinking feeling in my gut would reappear as my friends recount their experiences. 

I wish one of my peers had told me "your vote is important, here's how to make sure your vote counts."

This year is different. I have spent every day of the last few months talking with every young person I know and meet about their right to vote and how to utilize it.

Tonight, just like waiting to open presents on Christmas morning, I am eagerly awaiting going to my polling location tomorrow. Tomorrow will be my first time voting in a presidential election. After, I will wear my "I Voted" sticker proudly and then I will go to the phones, again. And I will talk to my friends, again. And I will go on facebook, again. 

Your vote is important. Now get out there and vote!

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Voting, Not Politics

November 5, 2012

Last weekend I went to vote in my first presidential election with my best friend.  We waited patiently, cast our ballots, and left wearing our “I’m a Georgia Voter” stickers. As we walked out, she joked that we might as well not have voted since we cast opposing votes. Even though we have contrasting political beliefs, I would never convince my friend not to vote. Exercising your democratic rights transcends the importance of party politics.

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