Preliminary analyses indicate that young voters turned out in high numbers on Tuesday. Early estimates indicate that between 21.6 million and 23.9 million young people between 18 and 29 voted, according to CIRCLE. Since 2004, at least a 2.2 million more young people turned out to vote. According to Rock the Vote the 2008 youth turnout could be the highest since 1972, when the voting age was lowered to 18.
The Feminist Majority Foundation's Get Out Her Vote (GOHV) campaign was an effort that contributed to getting out the youth vote. GOHV targeted students at college campuses nationwide specifically in states with key feminist ballot measures like California, South Dakota, and Colorado. Teams of student organizers rallied their peers to register to vote and engage themselves in the political process. In Colorado Springs, facing anti-abortion and anti-affirmative action ballot measures, Colorado College students organized a 500 student march to the polls and passed out FMF "No on 46 & 48" literature.
Circle Director Peter Levine said that "From a non-partisan perspective, it is heartening to see young people so motivated and engaged in a national election. Young Americans are also involved in community service at record rates. We must build on the momentum from this election to find ways to keep them civically engaged. It is also critical that those who did not vote for Barack Obama, or who did not vote at all, will feel included in politics, government, and community affairs."
Media Resources: CIRCLE 11/5/08; Rock the Vote 11/5/08; Feminist Majority Foundation
8/31/2015 Chicago Activists Continue Hunger Strike to Save Predominately Black Public High School - Chicago residents have entered the second week of their hunger strike protesting the closure of Dyett High School, in the predominately African-American Bronzeville neighborhood located on the South Side of Chicago.
Parents and community members are calling on the Chicago Board of Education to keep Dyett - the only open-enrollment, neighborhood school in its area - open and accept a community plan to revitalize the school with a focus on science and green technology. . . .
8/28/2015 Alaska Court Protects Abortion Access for Low-Income Women - The Alaska Superior Court struck down a state law yesterday that would have severely limited abortion access for low-income women in Alaska.
The state's Superior Court also struck down a Department of Health and Social Services regulation that placed narrow specifications on Medicaid coverage for abortions, requiring that Medicaid-funded abortions be determined by a physician to be "medically necessary." Last year, the Center for Reproductive Rights, the American Civil Liberties Union, and Planned Parenthood sued on behalf of the Planned Parenthood of the Great Northwest, claiming that the narrow definition of "medically necessary" arbitrarily established conditions designed to restrict the ability of low-income women to access abortion services.
The law was temporarily blocked last July by an Alaskan state court judge.
Superior Court Judge John Suddock ordered yesterday that the state be blocked from implementing this regulation, ruling that it placed an undue burden on low-income women seeking abortion services in Alaska.
"By providing health care to all poor Alaskans except women who need abortions, the challenged regulation violates the state constitutional guarantee of 'equal rights, opportunities, and protection under the law'," the ruling read.
"We applaud the superior court for striing down these cruel restrictions on women's health and rights that violate the Alaska Constitution," said Chris Charbonneau, CEO of Planned Parenthood of the Great Northwest and the Hawaiian Islands. . . .