Program Will be Driven by Students Demand Action Volunteers Using Virtual Tools to Register People in Their Online Networks, With More than a Dozen Paid Organizers Helping Lead Organizing Efforts in Key Battleground States
NEW YORK — Everytown for Gun Safety Action Fund (“Everytown”) and Students Demand Action, a part of Everytown, today announced the launch of a new, student volunteer-driven virtual organizing program to register young voters ahead of the 2020 election. As part of the program, Everytown and Students Demand Action will register 100,000 young voters, with a focus on key battleground states, including: Arizona, Colorado, Florida, Georgia, Iowa, Michigan, Minnesota, Nevada, New Hampshire, North Carolina, Pennsylvania, Texas, and Wisconsin.
Everytown is committing at least $1.5 million to the program, which will include more than a dozen paid organizers who will help lead efforts across the battleground states. The organizers will manage virtual field offices in target states, and will train Students Demand Action volunteers in new innovative online tools that allow them to register voters on their college campuses, and within their peer networks, online amid the coronavirus pandemic. In the fall, organizers will continue with in-person voter registration efforts on college campuses, where they will recruit new Students Demand Action volunteers and train volunteers in effective voter registration tools and tactics.
“Our lives might have been upended by the coronavirus crisis, but we won’t let the virus upend our determination to end gun violence in America,” said Alanna Miller, a member of the Students Demand Action National Advisory Board, and a first-year student at Duke University. “I planned to use my spring semester registering voters on Duke’s campus and the surrounding communities. Instead, I’m home in Texas, but my drive to register more voters hasn’t changed. Students Demand Action is committed to registering young voters and increasing youth turnout in 2020 because we know that lives are on the line — turning out more young voters in 2020 could change the course of the election and the course of gun violence in this country.”
“Our nation’s young people are fiercely committed to building a new generation of gun sense voters, and they won’t let anything — including coronavirus and social distancing — slow them down,” said John Feinblatt, president of Everytown for Gun Safety. “Students Demand Action volunteers have already proven their ability to turn online activism into Election Night wins, and we are proud to invest in their virtual push to register 100,000 voters ahead of a pivotal election for the gun safety movement.”
Students Demand Action’s voter registration initiative will include:
- Investing $1.5 million, including hiring at least a dozen paid organizers focused on registering voters in key battleground states;
- Establishing virtual field offices, where students will gather to strategize how to meet voter registration goals. Virtual field offices will have access to cutting edge organizing tools and technology, including Zoom, Slack, Icebreaker, Hustle, and more, giving volunteers the tools they need to be successful in virtual voter registration efforts;
- Extensive training in relational organizing, which involves leveraging relationships to encourage others to vote. This organizing method has been proven to be more effective than traditional canvassing, allowing volunteers to register their friends, family, classmates, and acquaintances. Students Demand Action volunteers will deploy this tactic digitally, while continuing to practice physical distancing;
- Targeting young people with online voter registration ads online.