The Program Will be Driven by Michigan Students Demand Action Volunteers Using Virtual Tools to Register People in Their Online Networks
Michigan Students Demand Action Volunteers are Available for Interviews
LANSING, Mich. — Everytown for Gun Safety Action Fund (“Everytown”) and Students Demand Action, a part of Everytown, announced the launch of Michigan’s new Students Demand Action Virtual Field Office, focused on registering young voters virtually. Last week, Everytown and Students Demand Action announced a $1.5 million program to register 100,000 young voters.
With the launch of Michigan’s virtual field office, Students Demand Action volunteers will register thousands of voters, work to get out the vote, and engage young people in gun violence prevention campaigns, all from home while practicing social distancing. Volunteers will collaborate on various online platforms, such as Zoom, Slack, and more, and will be trained in relational organizing — an innovative way to engage existing social networks to have meaningful conversations in order to talk about the importance of voting, how to register, and why their vote matters.
“Even during the coronavirus pandemic, gun violence continues to be a crisis in our communities,” said Megan Dombrowski, a volunteer with the Wayne State University chapter of Students Demand Action. “Young people have grown up to witness the devastation of gun violence everywhere from our city streets, to our schools and homes. And we’ve had enough. This election year, we’re ready to reclaim our communities by registering young voters, increasing voter turnout, and electing gun sense candidates up and down the ballot.”
Everytown is committing at least $1.5 million to the voter registration program, which will include more than a dozen paid organizers who will help lead efforts across battleground states. When it’s safe to organize in-person, 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.
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;
- Targeted online voter registration ads geared toward young people.