Civic Engagement Program
Millennials (adults ages 18-35 in 2016) are increasingly representing a larger percentage of the electorate; a recent Pew Research Center analysis showed that as of April 2016, an estimated 69.2 million millennials were voting-age U.S. citizens and comprised about 31% of the nation’s electorate. Generally, young adults are less likely to vote than older adults and millennials have proved to be no different.
As an organization, OCA-GLA believes its mission to empower young people and actively encourage more political engagement during the electorate process. Engaging the youth is crucial and a significant determinant in whether they will be politically active citizens once they reach voting age.
OCA-GLA’s community organizing model within high school and college environments aims not only to increase registration but also empowerment by cultivating more informed voters. Within our organizing model, our staff identifies talented high school and college students and trains them to become effective student organizers. These student organizers will then return to their schools and classrooms with the support of staff, and educate their peers on the democratic process and encourage voter registration and pre-registration.
In 2016, OCA-GLA was able to ramp up efforts targeting students attending high school and college universities. We were able to hire a part-time Civic Engagement Field Specialist who partnered up with 11 high school and college student leaders and trained them on Ballot Measures, Organizing 101, Know Your Voting Rights/Histories, How to Register Voters, and Story of Self. Each student partner would organize at least one voter registration drive on campus and 1 outside of campus. The goal for each partner was to register at least 30 eligible voters. The resources and training that were provided allowed the student leaders to host several voter registration drive and empower their peers to learn more about ballot measures, register to vote, and get out the vote.
For 2017, OCA-GLA will expand our civic engagement program to Orange County and San Bernardino-Riverside. We plan on hiring 2 Civic Engagement Field Specialist and partner up with 30 high school and college student leader with a goal of registering 2,000 eligible voters!