Disclaimer: Content on the YP4 blog does not necessarily reflect the views of Young People For or People For the American Way Foundation. The views, ideas, statements or claims posted on this site by members of the public cannot in any way be attributed to either Young People For or People For the American Way Foundation.
Campus Camp Wellstone's Mattie Weiss just posted a scathing entry about the underresourcing of young voter organizing at a time when we have the potential to decide the presidential election.
[N]umbers indicate that 6.5 million people under 30 voted in this year's primaries and caucuses, and that the overall youth vote has risen from 9 percent in 2000 to 17 percent in 2008.
Meanwhile, who are campaigns focusing on? Swing voters and “hockey moms.”
In the midst of continuing in my involvement with the YP4 blog team and addressing an array of issues from race and gender in the 2008 presidential elections to access to healthcare, I realized that I left out one important piece to any project: the beginning.
Oh, you have a new job? That's awesome! What do you do?
I've been hearing this question a lot lately from important people in my life - my friends, my family, my girlfriend's parents... And when I first started, I would generally mumble something about empowering young leaders in the progressive movement. True, but pretty vague.
Yesterday, I began my fellowship placement with the Bridges to Health Program of the Greenlining Institute (www.greenlining.org) in Berkeley, CA. Greenlining is "a multi-ethnic advocacy, research, leadership development, and public policy organization whose ultimate goal is to increase the role that low-income and minority Californians play in the civic arena in order to create equitable policies and improve quality of life for all communities." My initial project focuses on telemedicine as it pertains to medically underserved populations. In addition to being part of YP4's Leadership Academy, the people at Greenlining have been generous enough to include me in their own Fellowship Academy.
Hello Fellows! Hello world!
This is a blog entry about your life. Let me explain:
I just started working in the Education and Leadership Department at YP4, and I am still trying to wrap my mind around the potential for connections with the amazing people and programs here. I am hoping to use this space to pass along what I'm learning about how all of the elements at YP4 are interconnected, and can help us in our goal of sustaining and supporting ourselves and one another.
I have heard this word movement in the last couple of weeks,
when a friend of mine and I were designing our blueprint(shameless plug Power @
the Polls) one of the quotes we were talking about is "Movin the
Movement", so that got me thinking about this movement I am in. Weeks later a friend of mine and co-intern at
the YP4 office held a brownbag lunch about the young progressive movement so
that got me to think even harder about this movement. Are we truly in a
movement? Maybe I'm alone in this and I apologize for this but I believe we are
in a fertile environment for a movement, but I think that there are too many
chefs and not enough cooks.
After a 6 hour flight from San Francisco to New York, two train rides, and 45 minutes in a van, my fellow Leadership Academy participants and I arrived to our retreat center in West Cornwall, CT. To be honest, I wasn't sure what to expect from both the location and most especially, the participants. Prior to the Academy, I had no idea West Cornwall even existed, but now, am SO thrilled our first retreat took place here-- I'll explain later. But, what about the other participants? I read their bios prior to our first retreat and was honored to be part of a "Superstar" team, but to what extent would I be able to relate to them?
This is the first in a series of posts that myself and other YP4 staff will write from the Leadership Academy retreat in West Cornwall, CT.
The 2008-2009 class met yesterday at Grand Central Station and we kicked off this four day training retreat last night. This class is nothing short of spectacular. We have people from all areas of the country with vastly different theories of change, all with roughly the same vision for the world. Among the group we have elected officials and candidates, ED's of organizations, community organizers, policy specialists, leadership development trainers, students, teachers and activists.
Eversince I saw "Batman Begins," Batman became my favorite superhero. I was initially drawn to his ability to draw strength from past hurts and persistence in overcoming weaknesses/fears. While I am not one to tolerate violence, I also appreciated Batman's vigilante role as he committed both an exhorbant amount of time and resources to protecting the people of Gotham; a slightly more extreme version of Bill Gates.
So how does Batman relate to the Progressive Movement, or better yet, the Obama's campaign and the current U.S. Presidential Elections?
Yesterday, I had the insightful opportunity of attending the annual Campus Progress National Conference in Washington, DC. Similar to YP4, Campus Progress recognizes, challenges, and celebrates the young progressives to bring out positive social change.
I've attended my share of "progressive" conferences. The night before, I usually think about what kind of people might I expect to be participating in this year's conference. Questions like, how do the conference planner select this year's participants, or what are the participants' respective experiences and interests with regards to the progressive movement, usually come to mind.