Civic Engagement 2020: Engage Student Voters

 

Every Voice, Every Vote is training young people to become community organizers, register voters, protect access to the ballot for underrepresented communities, and have a voice in the civic process.

The Reform Movement is proud of our ability to develop new leaders and activists. We aspire to raise voter turnout for first-time and young voters this November and beyond.

In addition to the resources found on our Mobilize Our Voters page, the following resources are specifically geared toward student leaders and others who are working to engage student voters. Download the Reform Jewish Student's Guide to Civic Engagement.

1. Join our student office hours.

Join our Every Voice, Every Vote Student Civic Engagement Campaign office hours every Thursday from 4-5 p.m. ET.  These trainings, designed for voters and youth activists in high school and college, will frame the larger civic engagement campaign and give students the ability to ask questions and share ideas with other student activists.

The calls will alternate weekly between office hours for high school and college student organizers.

2. Commit to taking action.

Are you a student leader who is planning to work toward engaging student voters in your community? Fill out our intent form to tell us who you are, what you’re doing, and how we can support your efforts. You'll get access to our network of young leaders and be the first to hear about new resources and training opportunities. 

3. Consider becoming an election day poll worker.

With less than 80 days between now and November 3rd, the country is facing a shortage of poll workers, which could lead to closed polling places and long delays come election day. Consider becoming an election day poll worker to help ensure elections are accessible, fair and efficient. In making your decision, remember that pikuach nefesh, saving human life, is Judaism’s highest mitzvah. Especially in the midst of a pandemic, we encourage you to care for your health and safety first by heeding the advice of experts when making decisions about in-person activity. Whether you choose to be a poll worker or mobilize remotely to get out the vote on Election Day, join Every Voice, Every Vote to take action to strengthen our democracy between now and November.

4. Get to work!

This Civic Engagement Work Plan rubric is designed to help you identify the goals, challenges, and action steps of your student voter engagement work.

Build your team with this tool created by RAC Teen Justice Fellow Cameron to map your networks, figure out how many people you can engage, and decide the best people to partner with to do outreach.

Start using the app: Use the Empower App, a tool that allows you to organize the people you know to register and vote, to strengthen existing relationships and find common ground to build power and affect change.  

5. Participate in the RAC Social Justice Academy!

Join the RAC Social Justice Academy! Students participating in the Academy will be part of fun and engaging virtual learning and training, leave with actionable steps to advocate for a better world, built their skills to be an informed Jewish social justice activist, and connect with like-minded and motivated teens across North America. Our first unit is Civic Engagement wherein teens will explore the import role of young and emerging voters in democracy and the call Judaism makes to us to act in this moment. 

6. Explore Jewish values around civic engagement work.

This Civic Engagement Text Study can help you examine our relationship to civic engagement and how we want to take action to create a more just society.

7. Access other vital resources.

Download the Reform Jewish Students' Guide to Civic Engagement

Explore The Civics Center website for resources on running an in-person or digital voter registration drive at your high school, all of which are easily adaptable to your youth group, synagogue, NFTY Region, club...the "Resources" tab has a ton of tools, examples, voter registration forms, etc.

We are a part of the Students Learn Students Vote Coalition (SLSV), dedicated to integrating engagement with democracy into campus culture, including making voting and voter registration more accessible on college campuses. The Coalition is working on developing and adapting resources for a socially distanced, digital world. Campus Takeover for National Voter Registration Day provides resources to register voters and a network of college campuses taking over campus for voter registration. Our work with SLSV Coalition is focused on getting out the vote among college students between now and the November election. Build the foundation now for long-term civic engagement on your campus through the SLSV Checklist and sample campus plans.

College students: Check out this guide to learn where you should vote this November if you're split between home and school. 

Visit the Mobilize Our Voters page for general resources, Jewish text studies and discussion questions, and other tools to guide you in this work.