Weeks before early voting in California, activists target young Black and Brown voters
Activists and celebrities are reaching out to Millennial and Gen Z voters
Early voting in California will begin Monday, Oct. 5. Registered voters will be able to either mail in or drop off their ballots from that day until the day before Election Day, Monday, Nov. 2.
In a deeply divided American electorate, both Democrats and Republicans have been pushing efforts to motivate their respective party bases to get out and vote. And in an election year when a few votes in a handful of swing states will likely determine who will win the U.S. presidency, poll watchers are predicting that young people could be the deciding vote in several places.
“Don’t let anyone keep you from exercising your sacred vote. Make your plan to vote. Grab your vote and head to the polls the first day they are open,” said California Attorney General Xavier Becerra, calling out young people in his speech at the Democratic National Convention in August.
Across California, young voters are speaking out about the issues that concern them this election, and decisions that will affect their future. On Sept. 11, Power California, a civic engagement organization that encourages young people of color to participate in government, hosted their “Fight For Our Future Campaign Kick-Off.”
Young activists from all corners of California spoke about issues coming up in the November election to launch he campaign, which aims to reach more than 150,000 California voters between the ages of 18 and 35 through virtual phone banking and texting.
Annie Gonzalez, the actress known for her role as Lidia Solis on Netflix’s comedy-drama series “Gentefied,” hosted the virtual event. She addressed the struggles that young people of color are facing in the lead up to the election.
According to Power California’s 2020 Youth Poll, 46% of young people surveyed had difficulty buying food, household supplies or medicine during the COVID-19 pandemic, and 67% said their state government is not doing enough to address the impact of COVID-19.
“Young people of color have been hit hard by these crises, and their needs and futures must be centered in this election, and always during the recovery, from young essential workers risking everything to take care of us to college students unsure about their future to everyday young people struggling to afford rent,” said Gonzalez.