Youth Action for Politics

 

Intro

The Freechild Project has found that around the world there is a growing interest in young people participating in politics. Some political groups are changing to respond to the growing number of young people who want to affect the political system. Political ideologies that were once considered "fringe" beliefs are becoming mainstreamed, and more young people are associating themselves with non-popular political parties. Finally, more young people than ever before are actually becoming engaged in local community campaigns and other political activities.

 

Point to Ponder

"Nobody will ever deprive the American people of the right to vote except the American people themselves-and the only way they could do this is by not voting." Franklin D. Roosevelt

 

Resources

The following categories have been identified by Freechild to help young people and their adult allies learn more about young people & politics. There are several categories with headings are bold.

 

Organizations Promoting Youth Voting

 

League of Pissed Off Voters - Create social support to strengthen families.  Foster a spirit of shared responsibility and community. Bring all voices into the public dialogue. Protect our right to privacy and our freedom of choice. Make real opportunities available to all. Use government to invest in the public good. Be a respected and respectful citizen of the world. The most important youth engagement program of 2004.

 

Mobilzing America's Youth - An all-partisan network dedicated to educating, empowering, and energizing young people to increase our civic engagement and political participation.

 

Canadian Youth Politics - A discussion board for young people in Canada.

 

Millennial Politics.com - Dedicated to educating and motivating people about youth activism.  Hosts active discussions about youth activism and politics, publish a weekly newsletter to over 650 people about youth activism and are writing a book about the activism of our generation.

 

Teen Power Politics - "Silence is the door of consent."  Information, resources and inspiration to do something.

 

Youth Lobbying Organization - Provides the structure through which high school students will have their opinions heard on issues concerning themselves and their peers.

Vote Smart - A nonpartisan record of which candidates voted for what

Kids Voting USA - Kids Voting USA is a nonprofit, nonpartisan, grassroots organization dedicated to securing democracy for the future by involving youth in the election process today.
 

Youth Vote - Youth Vote is the nation's largest non-partisan coalition working to increase the political involvement of 50 million Americans, 18-30 years old. The Youth Vote coalition consists of over ninety diverse national organizations representing hundreds of organizations and millions of young people.

 

Rock The Vote - Organization begun by members of the recording industry dedicated to promoting freedom of expression and the empowerment of young people.  Engages youth in political advocacy and encourages voter registration.

 

Young Citizens Survey - A survey of 1,500 Americans between the ages of 15 and 25.  Young adults are more positive today about government, their communities, and their own civic and political involvement -- but those attitudes have yet to translate into action. Young adults are an "unclaimed constituency," looking for candidates for public office to come to their turf, take them seriously, and ask for their votes. These are some of the key findings of the most comprehensive survey of young people today, containing a wealth of new information about their attitudes toward, and participation in, politics and civic life.

 

Youth Vote Coalition - The nation's largest non-partisan coalition working to increase the political involvement of 50 million Americans, 18-30 years old. The Youth Vote coalition consists of over one hundred diverse national organizations representing hundreds of organizations and millions of young people.

 

Youth in Action - Provides support and recognition for the voices, ideas and positive solutions of youth. As partner in the Global Youth Action Network, a growing collaboration among organizations worldwide, the youthlink.org web site is being expanded as an international clearinghouse for youth voices, resources and action.

 

Third Millennium - Advocates for the Future - Third Millennium is a national, non-partisan, non-profit organization focusing on long-term problems facing the United States, such as the national debt. The organization conducts research, publishes opinion articles, and testifies before Congress. Its stated goal is to "inspire young adults to action."

 

Young Politicians of America - The Young Politicians of America was founded to expand the democratic experience to the youth of our society. The problems community service aims to answer are the same problems government seeks to solve. Our goal is to further citizenship among young people by catalyzing their zeal for community service into a zest for civic participation. Through YPA chapters, young people volunteer, discuss, and encourage each other to understand government's role as a crucial instrument for impact.

 

Close Up Foundation

 

Lowering the Voting Age - Resources and information about lowering the voting age and promoting youth suffrage across the United States.

 

Political Party Philosophies & Youth

 

Anarchy Youth - Proposed basic principles: 1) We expose and educate other young people and the community to the special oppression young people suffer in our society; 2) We teach, develop and carry out anarchist methods of fighting the oppression young people face; 3) We hold dear the ultimate goal of uniting with other regular people to destroy our common enemy, the ruling class, to be replaced with an anarchist society where we have non hierarchical communities and workplaces where everyone has equal access to that societies decision making power and wealth.

 

Green Party Youth Caucus - The Greens give official recognition, including a direct voice in county, state, and national committees, to organized caucuses of Greens who are members of oppressed groups. Includes the following for youth: proportional representation; guaranteed parity; affirmative action; right to caucus; recognition of Youth caucus.

 

Libertarian Party Campus (Youth) Information - Libertarians believe the answer to America's political problems is the same commitment to freedom that earned America its greatness: a free-market economy and the abundance and prosperity it brings; a dedication to civil liberties and personal freedom that marks this country above all others; and a foreign policy of non-intervention, peace, and free trade as prescribed by America's founders.

 

Student Natural Law Party Club - The Natural Law Party was founded in April 1992 to “bring the light of science into politics.” Its founders, a group of a dozen educators, businessmen, and lawyers, knew that field-tested solutions to America’s problems already existed but were being ignored by government, due primarily to the pervasive influence of special interests.

 

Young Democrats - The Young Democrats of America (YDA) has been the official youth arm of the Democratic Party since 1932. Open to anyone under the age of 36 who affiliates with the Democratic Party, YDA is a nationwide grassroots organization with 42 chartered states and 780 local chapters. Our 43,000 plus membership reflects the broad diversity of our nation and the Democratic Party. This includes high school students, college students, young workers, young professionals and young families. All of the members have the interest of their community at heart and work hard to affect the democratic process.

 

Young Democratic Socialists - YDS works to transform our society - on the job, in the streets, in the classroom. We are a broad, diverse network of young activists who share a vision of a more humane future. Instead of waiting for some final, magical instant when a utopia appears, we organize and struggle every day to redistribute power. Building democratic socialism is a long struggle, and we take it one step at a time.

 

Young People's Socialist League - The home of radical youth who believe in a better world, based upon cooperation, not competition, where human life is respected and valued, where everyone's basic needs are met, and where people are free to live up to their fullest potential.  Membership in YPSL (pronounced "Yipsel") is open to any comrade under the age of 30 who agrees with our principles. Our members are workers and students at all levels. We no more focus on college campus recruiting than do we try to colonize industrial union locals with newspaper subscriptions. We believe that all activists should organize where they are. As a D.I.Y. league, YPSL will help with any local campaign our members decide to carry out. Our organization is democratically run and open and accessible to all members.

 

YROCK - The Young Republicans Online Community networK - Today’s Young Republicans are young professionals between the ages of 18 and 40, who belong to a nationwide network of like-minded individuals.  The Young Republican National Federation, Inc. is the governing body that oversees the State organizations across the country and facilitates opportunities for Young Republicans to have an active role in politics today.  Members of Young Republican clubs not only benefit from the social aspects, but the chance for future political development.  As America’s farm team of Republican politics, the YRNF has spent the last 70 years creating the leaders of today, as well as training the next generation for tomorrow.

 

 

Political Parties for Youth

 

Party Y - Party Y is a coalition of young American leaders (all in their 20s) who joined together in 2002 to launch a new independent political youth party dedicated to meeting the needs of America's under-30 population. Not a traditional "third party", we are instead a web/media-based "virtual party" designed to link up young voters with equally young political candidates (all under-30) around the country.

 

The Future Voters of America Party, Inc. (FVAP)  - A New York City based program founded in 1995 as a not-for-profit political party for youth and now in its fourth year with youth involvement. The FVAP will provide an American political home that unites young people on youth-centered issues, promotes active citizenry, and fosters life-long patriotism and national spirit.

 

Publications

 

These are online and print publications about young people and politics.

 

How to Get Stupid White Men Out of Office - By the League of Pissed Off Voters. A tour of modern youth political activism in the US, focusing on eradicating this nation of its political terrorists. The most important book of 2004.

 

The Democracy Project: Build your own campaign (PBS)

 

Close Up Foundation Civics Quiz
 

Youth Indicators - Find out about Indicator 53 -- volunteerism -- as reported by the Department of Education in its occasional study on American youth.

 

Youthinfo - Maintained by the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS), Youthinfo is a web site providing information about America's adolescents. The site includes a statistical profile of America's teenagers; reports and publications on adolescents; and links to youth-related web sites at HHS, other federal agencies, private foundations, and research organizations.

 

CIRCLE - Center for Information and Research on Civic Learning and Engagement. Everything you ever wanted to know about youth, research, and political activity.

 

Visit our friends, allies and partners:

Freechild provides training and consulting on youth involvement in politics. Email info@freechild.org or call 360-489-9680 for details!

 

 

The Freechild Project Section Investigating Youth Involvement

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