**I wrote this yesterday, but believe it or not the wireless at the conference is a bit shaky! Check out what’s been happening at #nn10 on Twitter**
Good morning MYD! This morning I’m at a panel called “How Progressives Can Avoid Demographic Pitfalls in 2010 and Beyond” and we’re having a great talk with Rock the Vote about Millennial participation in politics. Luckily even in my old age I just fit into the Millennial category (officially 13-29 year olds)! You probably remember (especially if you’re an MYD member because we called you to tell you about it) that earlier in the year MYD launched www.youthvoteny.com a place where you can write to your Senators and tell them that you want publically funded universities to also be voter registration sites. Sounds pretty straightforward right? Unfortunately it’s not that simple, young people move around a lot (especially in NYC, in the past 10 years I’ve had 7 addresses) and it’s hard to get them locked down. Something interesting that we’re taking about this morning is how the term Millennial (the next generation of voters) starts at the age of 13. These kids will be voting sooner than we realize and we need to get them engaged. If someone has a bad political experience their first time out they’re not going to come back.
We need to engage young people right off the bat and get them excited, and a great place to start is local Community Colleges and Universities. We did that a little with Youth Vote NY, but we need to do more to get kids who are on the verge of adulthood. You can use our site to register to vote, send the link around to your friends and make sure that they’re planning to go to the polls in the midterm election. Make sure you’re taking to younger Americans, your brothers, sisters nieces and nephews. I’m reminded of Michael Anthony Hall in The Breakfast Club when he had a fake id just to vote! Imagine a teenager being super excited to be a part of the process — and the great thing, it’s not a novelty — we have a ton of them these days! A recent survey (of which I have no source, it was on the slides at the panel I’m at) of Millennial voters showed that McCain voters were more likely to head to the polls during the midterms than Obama voters. Clearly, that’s not ok. Let’s change that together.
So: if you’re not already, register to vote now. Then, tell your friends!