THE CHALLENGE: Among the myriad of challenges facing this country is the Registration Gap. That huge chasm between how many people Register to Vote, and how many actually cast their ballots on Election Day. This Gap is especially deep with youth voters. In the last Midterm Election (2014), 40% of Eligible Voters 18-24 were registered. Only 12% actually voted. 2018 is all about Local elections whether we are voting for candidates who represent us in our state capitals, or in Washington DC. Imagine the impact these millennial can have on each and every election, in every state, this year. IF they get out and Vote.
#WeAreAll18 is the most groundbreaking nonpartisan, grassroots youth Voting + Empowerment Movement that has ever been launched. Top-down initiatives that have been driven by the agendas or through the lenses of adults telling young people what they should care about, why they should vote, have clearly not worked. WE chose to shift this paradigm. WE determined that the only way to break through consistent Youth Voter Apathy was to ask teens HOW to do it. To ask them WHAT they care about, WHY they care about what they do, HOW and WHERE to reach them, and what might inspire them to actually take action…and VOTE. Youth inspiring Youth, eye-to-eye. This authentic approach – in the Storytelling and in the Strategy – transcends so many of the challenges that too often get in the way of turning “Eligible Voters” into actual ones, creating relevance for young people in unparalleled ways that have never before been utilized.
#WeAreAll18’s creative laboratory is based in the High School for Art + Design, the singular and legendary design school in New York City. The students are led by their Pied Piper, Visual Design/Thinking Teacher, Carl Landegger (Masters in Design for Social Change from SVA). Authentic, inspiring self-expression is the directive and offering.
The creative vision of the students is melded with the experience, wisdom and talents of seasoned media, political and socially conscious professionals and organizations. This collaboration – new school and old school – offers an unparalleled alchemy that sets the stage for success, as well as a sustainable Movement that transcends simply one age (18), or one year (2018). Diverse stakeholders focusing on, and embracing, their common shared interests. Utilizing both new school social media as well as old school grassroots efforts, we are already growing this Movement Globally throughout the United States.
There are 7 million Teens who, by Election Day 2018, will have become eligible since 2016 to vote for the first time. Everyone knows that the Youth Vote can make a huge difference in election outcomes, locally and nationally. However, there is a huge “Registration Gap” in this country – the chasm between the numbers of people who register, and those who actually cast their ballots on Election Day. This disparity is even more pronounced with first time voters. Young people have innumerable reasons for NOT voting, and many of those rationales are particular to their age and demographic. While there have been other voting initiatives that target the youth vote/first-time voter, none of them approach it from a place of true authenticity to young people. From a perspective that has the messaging and the approach creating deep relevance, and providing the answers as to WHY it is absolutely essential to step into being a citizen, becoming more informed, voicing their opinions, embracing their power, and VOTE. #WeAreAll18 is igniting the passion and talents of teenagers to empower young people to inspire their peers, eye-to-eye, so that they get out and vote in 2018, and have a positive effect on the elections. No matter for whom they cast their vote. And, there has never been a better time for WE to create this.
Jonathan Pillot is the Creator of WeAreAll18, and the Founder of the creative[re]directors, a content creation + marketing studio in NYC, focused on Storytelling, aligning Tribes and building Movements. His experience in launching My First Vote in 2008, including its RoadTrip component, provides the underlying foundation for why and how grassroots youth movements can absolutely work.
Art + Design High School. Carl Landegger is a Visual Thinking teacher at Art + Design HS, and the Co-Creator of WeAreAll18. Carl is the magnetic leader of the Student Collaborators, and the force behind the creation of AND Agency at A+D, where clients can utilize the wisdom and creative brilliance of students to authentically reach young people. Carl has a Masters in Design for Social Change from The School of Visual Arts.
The People Votes is an educational initiative aimed at mobilizing Americans to vote led by a coalition of creatives and techies developing and deploying cutting-edge content in defense of democracy. Founders of The People Votes include Emmy and Academy Award winners, and veterans of eBay, Goldman Sachs, MTV Networks, Sapient, and Atlantic Media.
The Social Good, through both its Agency and Foundation, is dedicated to using social media for social good. It applies marketing and technology innovations (Digital Cause Marketing) developed in the private sector, creating and nurturing online social movements in response to the country’s most pressing societal issues.