56: Youthpower, USA
Challenger Profile at a Glance
Meet the Youthpower voter outreach team from Oakland, California, challengers in the 2020 International Climate Action Challenge. This team formed to provide a way for San Francisco Bay area youth to encourage adults to vote.
#56 – Youthpower
90-Day Challenge Goal: Organize San Francisco Bay area youth to help get out the vote
Location: Oakland, California, USA
Registered Challenger: Heather Macleod
90-Day Challenge Period: September 1 – November 30, 2020
Here are some impact highlights from the Youthpower team during the 90-day challenge period:
88 people volunteered at least once – for many it was their first time ever participating in any kind of election-related activity
7 people organized their family and friends to get involved as well
46,030 voter outreach contacts made: 40,000 texts, 4,400 postcards, 880 phone calls, 750 leaflets dropped at doors
$1,860 raised: $900 for stamps for postcards and $960 in donations to school and community organizations
11 partnerships established
The experience changed young people’s and adult’s view of themselves as people who can and do participate politically and can make a difference.
What parts of the challenge were most helpful? Here’s what Heather shared:
“Having the structure of the book and the weekly meetings and the assignments was really helpful. One of the most useful activities was looking online at different groups we might work with. That expanded our thinking. Having the challenge pushed us to do more than we might have otherwise. And, there was a ripple effect too – a friend of mine told me that when she heard about what I was doing, she organized her neighborhood to send 500 postcards.”
The U.S. presidential election is over, but the team is still going!
To help win two Senate seats in Georgia, Youthpower is collaborating with youth groups in Atlanta to sponsor a TikTok contest for best “Register to Vote” TikTok video.
The team is also brainstorming ways to thank participants and invite them to come together to think about next steps for the climate.
What is your advice for someone who wants to make an impact?
Isabel: “I tend to carry the weight of the world on my shoulders and it leads to a lot of anxiety. Instead, find like-minded people. They can support you and make you feel good about what you’re doing, and if you can make a big impact, then it creates a sense of community. It’s very empowering to the individual to realize that we can all make a difference if we just stick together.”
Heather: “Don’t wait until you’re perfect to talk to some people about your ideas. Even if you can’t do it fully, you might be surprised how much you can do and how much people want to participate.”
To reach out to the team, email Heather at macleodphd(at)gmail.com