SAN FRANCISCO, Calif. — NextGen America launched its “Take Pride In Your Vote” voter registration campaign in honor of Pride Month. At Pride parades and events across 10 states, NextGen organizers will register members of the LGBTQ community and allies to vote ahead of local November elections and presidential primaries. In addition to registering thousands of young individuals at nearly 50 Pride celebrations this summer, NextGen has also released a “Take Pride in Your Vote” video, voiced by Peaches Christ, San Francisco drag queen, actor and activist. The video details the history of the Pride march and highlights what is still at stake for LGBTQ people in America today.
“Young people have been leaders in the movement for LGBTQ+ rights since the beginning. Fifty years ago, young transgender and queer people of color, including Marsha P. Johnson and Sylvia Rivera, who were only 24 and 17 years old at the time, fought back at Stonewall Inn against state-led violence and persecution,” said NextGen America Youth Vote Director Ben Wessel. “While LGBTQ+ activists have made incredible progress over the last few years, there is still so much at stake — from the Equality Act stuck in the Senate to Trump’s ban on transgender people in the military. This Pride Month, we’re not only celebrating the diversity and progress of the LGBTQ+ community, but also highlighting our shared history to build a more just and equitable country for future generations.”
In May, the House of Representatives made history and passed the 2019 Equality Act, which would include sexual orientation and gender identity in existing civil rights law, but now it is stuck in the Senate under Sen. Mitch McConnell. To accompany its Pride campaign, NextGen has also launched an online petition to pressure U.S senators, including those who represent NextGen states, such as Iowa Sen. Joni Ernst, North Carolina Sen. Thom Tillis and Arizona Sen. Martha McSally, to bring the Equality Act to a vote.
In 2018, NextGen America ran the largest youth vote program in American history across 11 battleground states. NextGen registered over 257,000 young individuals to vote and reached over 7 million young people between 18 and 35 years old in person, online, through the mail and over text. NextGen’s organizing efforts led to young people doubling their turnout and flipping the House of Representatives.
“The next fight of our nation’s future is just around the corner, and with over 60 staff on the ground, NextGen is already hard at work organizing young people to make an even larger impact in 2020,” organizers said.