Washington, DC - March 22, 2016
Rock The Vote announces its collaboration with mayors and secretaries of state from across the country to observe Democracy Day. Officials will teach a Democracy Class plan at schools in their cities and towns, and in one case, a correctional facility. Rock the Vote launched Democracy Class, marking the anniversary of the 26th Amendment, with the vision of engaging young Americans in elections through a high school civics education program.
Democracy Class is a fun, interactive, 45- or 90-minute lesson plan that uses video, a discussion and a mock election exercise to equip young people with the skills and information they need to navigate the elections process. Each day, nearly 12,000 young people turn 18 – and the goal of the program is to make sure they know how to register to vote and are informed about the process.
"It's inspiring to see educators, elected officials and civic organizations come together to ensure that our nation's students are educated about and engaged in our democratic process," said Sarah Audelo, Rock the Vote's Political and Field Director. "There's no better way to honor the fight for 18-year-olds to vote, than by going directly to young students and educating them about the history of voting in our country."
Among those participating in Democracy Day are Mayors Marian McClellan (Oak Park, MI), Harry W. Rilling (Norwalk, CT), Kim McMillan (Clarksville, TN), Robert Garcia (Long Beach, CA), Jorge Elorza (Providence, RI), Andrew Gillum (Tallahassee, FL), Pete Buttigieg (South Bend, IN), and Greg Fischer (Louisville, KY), and Jeanne P. Atkins, the Oregon Secretary of State.
"I am so pleased to be visiting Oak Creek to talk to young women about how their voice matters in our democracy,” said Atkins, who will be visiting residents at the Oak Creek Youth Correctional Facility in Albany, Oregon. “These young women already have had complex life experiences that will shape their views on government and society. Democracy Day is a fantastic opportunity to teach them about the value of civic involvement, especially as they transition toward greater independence."
"In Florida, we know too well how important each and every vote can be for defining the future trajectory of our country," said Mayor Gillum, who also serves as Co-chair of the Democratic Mayor's Voter Expansion Initiative. "That's why I am pleased to partner with Rock the Vote to help instill a level of passion and urgency for civic engagement in our young people, to help them truly understand what's at stake for them each passing election."
“It is critical that the students coming up understand how you can make a difference in your neighborhood, your city, your state and your country,” said Mayor McClellan, who will be teaching at a local high school. “Do you know how to vote? Are you comfortable with the process or are you intimidated? Let's help kids feel comfortable with the power their vote holds.”
“Decisions are made by those who show up, and that’s why it is imperative that our next generation gets interested, gets involved and speaks out,” said Mayor Elorza.
Mayor Rilling, who will be at his alma mater, Norwalk High School, said: “It is important to give youth the message that they have a voice in determining the future of Norwalk, the State of Connecticut, and the nation. I’m very honored to help get that message out to Norwalk youth.”
***Sarah Audelo, Rock the Vote’s Political and Field Director, is available for interviews
About Rock the Vote
Rock the Vote is the largest nonpartisan, nonprofit organization in the country driving the youth vote to the polls. Since 1990, Rock the Vote has fused pop culture, music, art and technology to fulfill its mission of building long-term youth political power. During the past six Presidential elections, Rock the Vote ran the largest voter registration drives for young people and has partnered with more than 25,000 partners through its online, multi-lingual voter registration tool. Rock the Vote is dedicated to mobilizing the vote, protecting voting rights and advocating for an electoral process and voting system that works for the Millennial generation, America's largest and most diverse population in history. To get Rock the Vote updates on upcoming events, election reminders and candidate, visit RocktheVote.com. Engage on social media, by following Rock the Vote on Facebook and on Twitter at @rockthevote.