DoSomething.org, the U.S. organization for teens and social change, and its partner, wireless carrier Virgin Mobile USA, have united in an effort to mobilize young people to take political action with the use of their mobile phones.
As a founding partner of Do Something's new mobile activation, Virgin Mobile will work closely with DoSomething.org on initiatives that use the power of cell phones to get young people to become engaged in their communities.
Today marks the launch of "Vote Up or Shut Up," a new kind of election campaign -- one that supports young people running for office and allows anyone, no matter what age, to get involved.
For the first time ever, the focus for young, political engagement will be on creating a pre-registration database of 16 and 17-year-olds so the moment they turn 18, no matter if they're off at college or anywhere else, they can easily be reached and reminded to register to vote. Participants are able to pre-register online, and for the first time ever, they can pre-register directly through their cell phones to receive a reminder to register to vote when they turn 18.
The campaign will help young people over the age of 18 register to vote online through a partnership with HeadCount.org, and highlights four young candidates under the age of 25, of all political stripes, who are running for various offices across the country (from school board to state legislature).
Young people cite the fact that no politicians look like them as one reason they're disengaged in politics. The Vote Up or Shut Up campaign will showcase the power of young people in politics. The message: politics is not an old man's game.
Young people vote at lower rates than any other age, yet they have the opportunity to have a massive influence on our elections. This fall, while thousands of organizations and companies will be talking about the election, "Vote Up or Shut Up" will be one of the only ones talking directly to a young demographic. People can pre-register/register to vote at www.dosomething.org/vote.
"Aspiration is about getting your voice out there because you've got something to say," said Ron Faris, head of Brand Marketing, Virgin Mobile USA. "And we're so thrilled to partner with our friends at DoSomething.org and support the spirit of what these young candidates believe: that change can come from anyone, regardless of age."
"We want young voters to know how powerful they truly are when it comes to politics, and that they don't have to be old and balding to be politically engaged," said Christina Blacken, Campaigns Associate and lead of this campaign at DoSomething.org. "Virgin Mobile's cool factor and mobile reach made this partnership a no-brainer for such a fresh take on voter engagement of young people."
Also this fall, DoSomething.org and Virgin Mobile will launch "The Call of Fame" to mobilize young people across the country to take action on important social issues. Each cause has three call options with three different celebrity voices that people can send to one another to get them to take action.
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