The future of political change rests in the hands of millennials. Their choice to engage — or not engage — in traditional civic avenues can tip the scales for the progressive movement. Recognizing this, we are participating in YVote, a network of organizations reaching out to young people of color to spark change through electoral organizing, locally and statewide. Leading the charge for YVote are Mobilize the Immigrant Vote (MIV), which ensures the safety and rights to societal services for children of immigrants and young immigrants, and Movement Strategy Center (MSC), which trains and builds capacity for nonprofits that utilize community organizing.
We’re thrilled to bring on a new member of our team, Laneisha Butler, thanks to the New Majority Fellowship we’re doing in partnership with YVote. A third-generation East Oaklander and recent graduate of UC Santa Cruz, Laneisha knows firsthand from campus organizing the power to bring about change that talking to your peers can have. She will be managing three civic engagement campaigns focused on increasing voter turnout and political engagement among low-income, underrepresented people of color. Her first campaign kicks off next month as she works with Oakland-based youth groups, high schools and colleges to register young people to vote.
In Laneisha’s words:
“I am excited about the support and insights that I am gaining through Oakland Rising and YVote so that I can advance a civic engagement agenda rooted in social justice within my Oakland community.
“Last month I attended YVote’s “My Ancestors Taught Me” bootcamp where, along with other New Majority Fellows, we examined what our ancestors have laid out for us regarding their struggles for social change, and how we can use this knowledge to create change within our community.
The four days at bootcamp provided a chance for me to connect with and learn from my peers. I am learning from many powerful and educated people who have prior experience with pushing our shared agenda, and who are willing to share their ideas and methods within the trainings. From workshops to intimate group activities, I networked with others who have similar goals as I do: to dismantle generational poverty, disenfranchisement, under-representation, and gentrification within communities of color.
“Throughout this fellowship, I will utilize my strengths and knowledge to encourage more youth of color to participate in civic engagement. I hope that our communal engagement will result in us becoming our own political representatives, lifting up our agenda.”
Oakland, CA 94612
Oakland Rising and our collaborative partners are united in our vision for a city that embodies health, happiness, safety, and equal opportunities for all. Our goal is to create a model of progress and sustainability that showcases the possibilities for American cities in the 21st century. We are committed to dismantling the barriers of racial, economic, political, environmental, and educational inequities that have divided us, and instead, embracing the collective strength found in our city’s diversity. We firmly believe that Oakland can achieve its full potential when every resident, student, and bus rider has the ability to shape our city’s future. This vision is attainable and we are determined to realize it through our collective actions, whether it’s through voting, meetings, or call to actions.
Every year, we release a Vision, Issues, and Policy Platform (VIPP) which outlines the annual policies that we and our eight partner organizations prioritize in order to advance racial, economic, and environmental justice in the Town. Our collaborative’s agenda encompasses a range of critical initiatives, from expanding affordable housing to creating a more equitable democracy through campaign finance reforms. These priorities are designed to provide vital protections and innovative solutions for the most vulnerable members of our community. As we continue our efforts to promote these policies, we hold conversations with thousands of voters, lead and co-host impactful town hall meetings, educate and mobilize residents and voters, and undertake various other initiatives.
To gain a deeper understanding of our commitment to resist, protect, and advance in this political moment, we invite you to explore our 2023 Vision, Issues, and Policy Platform. Together, we are making strides towards a more equitable and just Oakland, and we remain steadfast in our pursuit of change, one vote, one meeting, one march at a time.
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Oakland Rising is a project from our hearts for the people of Oakland. Thank you for your contribution!