“Trump-Backed Attorney Wants to Restrict Voting Access on College Campuses” – Complex
Why are Republicans so afraid of young people voting? Could it be related to the GOP blocking student debt relief? Mass shootings at colleges? Denying access to abortions? Blocking a minimum living wage?
“Longtime legal strategist Cleta Mitchell outlined the scheme Saturday during the Republican National Committee donor retreat in Nashville, where she presented a 50-slide PowerPoint titled, “A Level Playing Field for 2024.” The Washington Post obtained audio from the event as well as a copy of Mitchell’s presentation, which included voter suppression strategies aimed at young people and others who have historically leaned Democrat.” – Complex
Students struggle with classes, expenses and few opportunities to understand how to organize to bring about change. Students For Justice is a nonprofit that meets this need. It provides paid internships for college students to get involved in politics with the help of mentors. Listen to this podcast in which Sandra Radoff explains how they are coaching the next generation of activists and political leaders.
Republicans don’t want young people to vote
Students For Justice
Students for Justice (SFJ) is a paid internship program that was created in 2020 to engage college students in the struggle to fight systemic voter suppression and to turn out the vote. It is an initiative of the Center for Common Ground, a 501(c)(3) non-profit, non-partisan organization committed to getting out the vote in communities of color in voter suppression states.
SFJ’s voter outreach is centered on young African-American voters in Georgia, North Carolina, and Virginia. Their interns are recruited primarily from Historically Black Colleges and Universities (HBCUs) and over 90% identify as people of color.
- Provides an educational experience and professional growth opportunity for college students, including (because it is paid) low-income students.
- Accomplishes significant voter outreach, having a very real impact on turnout in important elections.
- Educates the future leaders of the fight for voting rights in America.
Student internship program
- Learn political organizing skills by recruiting volunteers to write postcards to voters and by engaging in phone banking
- Learn leadership skills when promoted to managing teams of new interns and by participating in leadership skills workshops
- Learn political marketing skills through workshops and by designing social media outreach to increase voting among youth
- Benefit from a speakers’ series focused on developing an understanding of and involvement in the democratic process
- Mentored one-on-one by older volunteers who meet with their interns weekly to provide supervision, encouragement, time-management coaching, and career advice
donate to students For justice
Students for Justice was founded on May 18, 2020, when the co-founders, Claire Ullman and Sandy Radoff, had the idea to put their skills together to address the needs of that moment. Claire was teaching political science at Barnard College and heard from her students that all their summer jobs and internships had been canceled due to the pandemic, and she had started working her network to find them opportunities. Sandy, a market researcher with her own business, was a major volunteer for the Reclaim Our Vote postcard campaign of the Center for Common Ground and had already distributed about 30,000 postcards to volunteers in Manhattan – she knew that many more thousands of volunteers were needed to turn out the vote in the most important election of our lifetime. They put those two needs together and Students for Justice was born.
Learn more about Students for Justice at a virtual house party. Hear from co-founders Claire Ullman and Sandy Radoff and from college students who have interned with the program and are having real impact on voter turnout. Click here to sign up for an upcoming party or to inquire about hosting one!
Republican voter suppression
Republicans have claimed that lax ID requirements — such as allowing college identification or mail voting where no ID is required — open the door for voter fraud. But they have produced no evidence of widespread fraud — and experts say that’s because it doesn’t happen. At one point in the presentation, Mitchell said she is optimistic that the Virginia Senate will flip to Republican control this year, allowing for the elimination of early voting in the state.
“Forty-five days!” she said in a reference to Virginia’s early voting period. “Do you know how hard it is to have observers be able to watch for that long a period?” – Washington Post
Who is Cleta Mitchell?
Cleta Mitchell, a key figure in president’s phone call, was an early backer of Trump’s election fraud claims. On Nov. 7, the day that major media organizations projected Joe Biden had won the presidency, Republican attorney Cleta Mitchell appeared on Fox News with her own projection: The election was far from over.
“We’re already double checking and finding dead people having voted. We’re going to be finding people have voted across state lines, voted in two states, illegal voting, noncitizens and that sort of thing. So we are building that case,” Mitchell said, referring to the work of the early backer of Trump’s election fraud claims and foreshadowing many of its claims of fraud. In the following days, Mitchell took particular aim at Biden’s win in Georgia, tweeting that the state’s recount was a “total sham” and “A FAKE!!!” She wrote that the effort was “cover for the SOS,” referring to Secretary of State Brad Raffensperger. – Washington Post
TakeAway: Don’t let Republican voter suppression silence the voice of young voters and discourage them from organizing. Support Students For Justice.
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Image Credit: AP / History.com
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