Building the Electorate with Millennials of Color

Millennials – people age 18 to 34 – now make up the largest and most diverse age group in California. With 4 million potential young voters, we have the power to propel forward issues that really matter to us and our communities. This election cycle, we experimented with using Hustle, a text-based organizing app, to contact young voters of color. Our goal focused on making sure that young people of color have a voice in our political system and exercise their right to vote.

As part of YVOTE, a collaboration of progressive political organizations throughout California, we collectively reached 129,000 people through our Facebook posts and over 250,000 people through text and phone calls. With support from our volunteers, Oakland Rising specifically contacted 31,015 people via text -- more than 3x our goal! Of those young voters of color whom we texted, 1,465 responded by pledging that they would vote. We also ensured that every person who responded to our text had their polling location and all the resources they needed to vote.

Mobilize the Immigrant Vote Action Fund and Bay Rising also partnered with us on this project. With these two groups, we set a goal to educate millennials of color about specific propositions that would bring resources to our communities and reform the criminal justice system if passed.

Summary of Results:

  • We contacted 31,015 people and had about a 10-20% response rate
  • 1,465 people responded to our texts pledging they would vote
  • 18 volunteers signed up to do Hustle texting

Oakland Rising will continue to engage young voters as we know that they are the future of our State and their voices must be listened to, and we will continue to reach out to young people with the tools they know best.

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