ROCK THE VOTE ANNOUNCES THE “WE WILL” CAMPAIGN
TO EMPOWER YOUNG PEOPLE TO REGISTER AND VOTE IN 2012
With 78 Days to Go Until Election Day, Ground-Breaking Campaign Will Energize Young People to Fight Back Against Restrictions and Make Their Voices Heard in November
Washington, DC – As the nominating conventions begin, and young people head back to school and begin paying closer attention to the elections, Rock the Vote is launching the We Will campaign – to register 1.5 million voters and engage millions ages 18-29 in turning out to vote this November.
While voting rights are under attack in states across the country, with changes in early vote laws and ID requirements that will make it harder for young people to vote, the We Will campaign aims to educate young people about these changes, and remind them of their collective power. The campaign combines messages such as “they want us to keep silent, we will be heard,” and “they want us to back down, we will be brave” with artful photography and graphics, in order to highlight that there is a “they” lurching in the shadows, but then motivate people through what we will do to shape our future, rather than what should be.
The campaign will kick off with concerts celebrating the power of young voters at the Republican and Democratic National Conventions, along with the launch of “Road Trip 2012” bus tour.
The concert in Tampa, FL on August 28th is headlined by international superstar Steve Aoki, presented by Pringles and Tumblr, and produced by Disco Donnie Presents and We Are Music. Showcasing Rock the Vote’s work this year with the Electronic Dance Music community through it’s Spin the Vote program, this show will bring young people and politicians together for a night of dance and celebration of the right to vote. The concert in Charlotte is a rare, intimate – and sure to be rocking – club show with the Foo Fighters, who are taking time from their world tour in support of the international #1 album Wasting Light to support Rock the Vote.
These high profile events will serve as the kick-off to the national We Will campaign, which will leverage technology, music, and celebrity engagement to educate and energize millions of young people to cast a ballot in this year’s election. The campaign will use a variety of tools to engage young people—from broadcast media to outdoor advertising to online outreach and mobile integration—and will include the “We Will Pledge to Vote,” through which voters will commit to making their voices heard in November. A #WeWill Twitter hashtag will support the entire campaign.
“Through these events, we will bring together thousands of young voters and energize them to engage in the We Will campaign and in registering their peers to vote. We will also make sure that the candidates for office in both parties are reminded that young people are more than ¼ of the electorate and are ready to flex our political muscle once again,” said Heather Smith, President, Rock the Vote.
“Young people across the country understand the power they have to make change in our country, we will help them realize that power,” said Heather Smith, President of Rock the Vote. “The We Will campaign is about young people making their voices heard. We will help them access the tools they need – whether it’s through music, social media, on the airwaves or on the ground – to make a difference in this election. We will be brave, we will organize, we will speak out, we will be counted. And we will vote.”
New polling conducted by the Center for Information & Research on Civic Learning and Engagement (CIRCLE) at Tufts University shows a lack of awareness about new voting restrictions could be a huge barrier to young people voting in this election, with 68 percent of young people either unable or unwilling to answer correctly whether their state requires a photo ID to vote.
The 2012 Road Trip, Rock the Vote’s bus tour, will launch in Tampa then make its way to Charlotte, registering voters and activating volunteers with each stop along the way, as well as collecting “WeWill Vote Pledges” from the thousands of young voters in each city. Throughout the tour, young people will have a chance to choose their own “We Will” statement posting it alongside a picture of themselves while learning more about the voting process and how to navigate any voting restrictions in their state. A robust voter registration drive will be conducted by Rock the Vote volunteers at stops along the way beginning on the east coast in states such as Florida, Georgia, North Carolina, Washington DC, Virginia and Pennsylvania, then making its way west to many others. The campaign will also air public service announcements with the support of networks like Comcast’s “Own the Vote,” through cable, web and On Demand platforms that encourage young people to register to vote.
The We Will campaign has been built in close partnership with TaskForce, a pro-social marketing and cultural organizing agency and Apartment One, a Brooklyn-based branding and design agency. In addition, other leading media, marketing and public relations agencies are giving their time and energy to advance the We Will campaign, The Pvblic Foundation and the Judge Group (outdoor), BMF Media (events), Team Epiphany (social media), and many others.
Rock the Vote’s mission is to engage and build political power for young people in our country. Using music, popular culture, new technologies and grassroots organizing for more than 20 years, Rock the Vote has registered more than 5 million young people. As the tidal wave of Millennial generation voters continues to establish its power at the polls, Rock the Vote will register millions more young people and make their voices heard.
For more information, visit www.rockthevote.com.