Press Release Archive

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FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
October 31, 2018

THE TELETHON FOR AMERICA

THE FIRST TELETHON EVER WITH THE GOAL OF RAISING ZERO DOLLARS!

A  Star-Studded Non-Partisan Get Out The Vote 2-Hour Streaming Comedy Event Will Air Live From 6-8 PT/9-11 ET on Monday, November 5, on YouTube, Facebook Live and Comedy Central Online and Powered by ‘When We All Vote’

YouTube, Lyft & ICM Partners Are Presenting Sponsors

Chelsea Handler, Amy Schumer, Charlize Theron, Jane Fonda, Adam Devine, Lil Rel, Judd Apatow, Julia Louis-Dreyfus, Whitney Cummings, Connie Britton, Ashley Benson, Sara Foster, Chris Redd, Nick Kroll, YouTube Star Olga Kay and Many More are Set To Appear On This Nonpartisan Telethon That Aims to Spur Voter Turnout By, In Lieu Of Money, Taking Pledges to Vote THE VERY NEXT DAY!

LOS ANGELES– THE TELETHON FOR AMERICA, created by comedian/actor & TV Host Ben Gleib, is a non-partisan get-out-the-vote initiative that completely re-invents the telethon for the digital age. Featuring over 50 top actors, comedians, and online influencers.  The telethon will stream live on YouTube, Facebook Live and Comedy Central Online on Monday, November 5, from 6-8 PT & 9-11 ET, the night before the Midterm elections taking place on Tuesday November 6. Voters can sign up to participate HERE.

The event was announced by Executive Producers Ben Gleib, Neil Mandt, Hannah Linkenhoker, Rick Sorkin and Barry Katz.   YouTube, Lyft and ICM Partners are presenting sponsors and the event is powered by ‘When We All Vote,’ a non-partisan, non-profit campaign launched by Michelle Obama.  The telethon will be produced by Gleib’s Neurotic Gangster Productions, BC Live, Mandt Bros Productions, Barry Katz Entertainment, and YouTube, streamed from their Playa Vista creative studio space, which the platform has donated along with their production equipment and facilities.

THE TELETHON FOR AMERICA, the first telethon in history with the stated goal of raising zero money – with the singular goal of taking pledges to increase voter turnout— will feature top celebrity talent, live performances, comedy, music, pre-taped segments, and extensive interaction with our celebrity phone bank who will be calling OUT to fans and potential voters to ensure they will vote the day after the telecast. Talent commitments include Judd Apatow, Julia Louis-Dreyfus, Jane Fonda, Charlize Theron, Lil Rel, Chelsea Handler, Amy Schumer, Ashley Benson, Adam Devine, Ben Gleib, Whitney Cummings, Russell Peters, Jeff Ross, Sara Foster, Sophia Bush, Tom Arnold, Aisha Taylor, Minnie Driver, Erik Griffin, Debra Messing, Jackie Tohn, Connie Britton, Wyatt Cenac, YouTube Star Olga Kay, Natasha Leggero, Tone Bell, Iliza Shlesinger, Rory Scovel, Mary McCormack, house DJ Samantha Ronson, Brad WIlliams, Zoe Lister-Jones, Jade Tailor, Milana Vayntrub, Quddus, and many more. In addition, many YouTube stars and top online influencers, most with millions of followers will be featured, garnering their marketing power to help get the vote out.

For the first time ever, each participating performer will have the ability to stream the entire program live on their social media platforms through Transmit Live.  That will allow THE TELETHON FOR AMERICA to be simulcast across dozens of highly influential celebrities’ social media platforms.  

“The Telethon For America flips the traditional telethon on its head. Young Americans are more motivated than ever before and the Telethon For America is working to build on that momentum to make sure an even higher percentage of young people get out and vote. We are excited to reach them in a brand new way, thanks to our production partners, our performers, and the social platforms of the influencers that they listen to.” Gleib said.

“This is a great opportunity to reach millions of voters the day before one of the most important elections of our lifetime to remind them that their vote is their voice and their vote is their power,” said Kyle Lierman, CEO of When We All Vote. “Not only will we encourage voters to go vote and take their friends and families with them, but we’ll arm them with all the tools and information they need to cast their ballot.

THE TELETHON FOR AMERICA is geared specifically at youth turnout and will feature extensive social media engagement tools, collecting commitments to vote on November 6th. The 2016 election was decided by just 77,000 votes, with over 100 million registered Americans not voting.  Additionally, over 7 million people have turned 18 since then, so this event aims to harness that untapped power.

Never before has the nation gathered together the night before an election for an event aimed at getting Americans pumped up and ready to vote. “TONIGHT WE LAUGH. TOMORROW WE VOTE.”

ABOUT  When We All Vote:

When We All Vote— a new national, nonpartisan not-for-profit— brings together citizens, institutions, and organizations to spark a conversation about our rights and responsibilities in shaping our democracy. Namely, the responsibility of registering and voting. When We All Vote’s co-chairs are some of America’s most trusted voices, including Michelle Obama, Tom Hanks, Lin-Manuel Miranda, Janelle Monáe, Chris Paul, Faith Hill, and Tim McGraw. Join the conversation by talking to friends, family, and neighbors about the importance of their voice and their vote. Because When We All Vote, we can change the world.

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FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
October 29, 2018

ICYMI: When We All Vote Co-Chair Michelle Obama Joins BET Special: Our Vote Our Power

NEW YORK, NY– When We All Vote Co-Chair Michelle Obama recently sat down with BET News Special Correspondent Angela Rye to discuss why it is so important to vote in the midterms and every election. In case you missed it, her full interview is included below.

FULL EPISODE: https://www.bet.com/video/news/specials/2018/angela-ryes-midterm-election-special-our-vote-our-power.html

WATCH MICHELLE OBAMA’S INTERVIEW: HERE

ABOUT When We All Vote:

When We All Vote— a new national, nonpartisan not-for-profit— brings together citizens, institutions, and organizations to spark a conversation about our rights and responsibilities in shaping our democracy. Namely, the responsibility of registering and voting. When We All Vote’s co-chairs are some of America’s most trusted voices, including Michelle Obama, Tom Hanks, Lin-Manuel Miranda, Janelle Monáe, Chris Paul, Faith Hill, and Tim McGraw. Join the conversation by talking to friends, family, and neighbors about the importance of their voice and their vote. Because When We All Vote, we can change the world.

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FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
October 29, 2018

When We All Vote Co-Chair Michelle Obama Launches #VotingSquad Campaign Ahead of Midterm Elections

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When We All Vote Co-Chair Michelle Obama Launches #VotingSquad Campaign Ahead of Midterm Elections

Washington, DC – Today, with only 11 days left before the midterm elections, When We All Vote Co-Chair Michelle Obama launched #VotingSquad, a new digital campaign calling on Americans to get their friends and family members to the the polls — whether that’s by voting early, by mail, absentee, or on Election Day, November 6th.

In a video message  Mrs. Obama reminded voters that they have the power to get their friends, family and community out to vote. I learned a little secret. You are the best messengers to get out the vote. You know who’s too busy or too forgetful or who might flake out on Election Day”, said Mrs. Obama. She challenged her fellow co-chairs Tom Hanks, Lin-Manuel Miranda, Janelle Monáe, Chris Paul, Faith Hill, and Tim McGraw to create their own #VotingSquad while encouraging all eligible voters to do the same.

Watch Mrs. Obama’s message:

When We All Vote and it’s partners hosted over 2,500 events during a National Week of Action in September. More than 200,000 people across the country hosted or attended events and volunteered to help register voters in their communities. The #VotingSquad campaign will further scale these efforts by equipping Americans with the information and resources they need, and from those they trust, to make sure they are registered and ready to vote in this and every election.

 

Here is how everyone can create their own #VotingSquad:

 

Video Transcript:

“For over a decade, I’ve been traveling the country trying to get more people to vote.

And during that time, I learned a little secret.

You are the best messengers to get out the vote.

You know who’s too busy or too forgetful or who might flake out on Election Day.

I want you to reach out to five people in your life, in your family, at your school, your congregation, wherever.

Just pick at least five people for your Voting Squad.

Then do whatever it takes to get them to vote.

Tag each other on Instagram and Facebook.

Post group photos.

Put everybody on a text chain.

And then get to the polls on or before November 6th.

Because when we all vote, we all do better.

So sign up your squad at WhenWeAllVote.org/squad.”

ABOUT When We All Vote:

When We All Vote—a new national, nonpartisan not-for-profit—brings together citizens, institutions, and organizations to spark a conversation about our rights and responsibilities in shaping our democracy. Namely, the responsibility of registering and voting. When We All Vote’s co-chairs are some of America’s most trusted voices, including Michelle Obama, Tom Hanks, Lin-Manuel Miranda, Janelle Monáe, Chris Paul, Faith Hill, and Tim McGraw. Join the conversation by talking to friends, family, and neighbors about the importance of their voice and their vote. Because When We All Vote, we can change the world.

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FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
October 19, 2018

When We All Vote Encourages Voters To Register NOW,

Before Monday’s Voter Registration Deadlines

Oct 22: Deadline for AL, CA*, SD and WY**

LOS ANGELES, CA– Monday, October 22nd is the voter registration deadline for a number of states and When We All Vote is encouraging all eligible voters to check their status and get registered to vote in the midterm elections before it’s too late. The following states and territories have deadlines on Monday, October 22: Alabama, California*, South Dakota, and Wyoming**.

*Can still register at an election office from Oct. 23-Nov. 6 and vote with a provisional ballot

**Deadline to register by mail (online not available). Registration still available on Election Day.

Yesterday, When We All Vote unveiled a new homepage tailored to help voters prepare to cast their ballot on Election Day. Now all eligible voters can create a game plan to vote by visiting whenweallvote.org. The new tools  will allow voters to find their polling locations, inform them of their options to vote early or by mail, shows them who will be on their ballots and helps them research candidates before heading to the polls.

When We All Vote also released a new PSA featuring Michelle Obama urging Americans to vote and to vote early. Created from her Week of Action Rally in Miami with over 6,400 eligible voters, Mrs. Obama reminds voters that “Voting is the only way to ensure that your concerns matter.”  The new PSA will run on digital platforms.

EARLY VOTE PSA: https://youtu.be/tmLxAoouPHA

In September, When We All Vote hosted a National Week of Action during which partners and volunteers hosted over 2,500 events in nearly every state. During our Week of Action over 200,000 people took action by hosting or attending an event, and volunteering to help register voters. Co-Chairs Michelle Obama, Tom Hanks, Chris Paul, Faith Hill, Janelle Monáe and more led flagship events in major cities from Atlanta to Las Vegas. Watch a recap of the Week of Action here.

 

ABOUT When We All Vote:

When We All Vote— a new national, nonpartisan not-for-profit— brings together citizens, institutions, and organizations to spark a conversation about our rights and responsibilities in shaping our democracy. Namely, the responsibility of registering and voting. When We All Vote’s co-chairs are some of America’s most trusted voices, including Michelle Obama, Tom Hanks, Lin-Manuel Miranda, Janelle Monáe, Chris Paul, Faith Hill, and Tim McGraw. Join the conversation by talking to friends, family, and neighbors about the importance of their voice and their vote. Because When We All Vote, we can change the world.

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FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
October 18, 2018

When We All Vote Releases New PSA on Early Voting Featuring Michelle Obama & Unveils New Tools to Help Voters Make a Plan to Vote Before Election Day

WASHINGTON, DC – Today, When We All Vote unveiled a new homepage tailored to help  voters prepare to cast their ballot on Election Day. Starting today all eligible voters can create a game plan to vote by visiting whenweallvote.org. The new tools will allow voters to find their polling locations, inform them of their options to vote early or by mail, shows them who will be on their ballots and helps them research candidates before heading to the polls.

When We All Vote also released a new PSA featuring Michelle Obama urging Americans to vote and to vote early. Created from her Week of Action Rally in Miami with over 6400 eligible voters, Mrs. Obama reminds voters that “Voting is the only way to ensure that your concerns matter.”  The new PSA will run on digital platforms.

In September When We All Vote hosted a National Week of Action during which partners and volunteers hosted over 2,500 events in nearly every state. During our Week of Action over 200,000 people took action by hosting or attending an event, and volunteering to help register voters. Co-Chairs Michelle Obama, Tom Hanks, Chris Paul, Faith Hill, Janelle Monáe and more led flagship events in major cities from Atlanta to Las Vegas. Watch a recap of the Week of Action here: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=GlwZcv_p-xY

EARLY VOTE PSA: https://youtu.be/tmLxAoouPHA

 

Transcript:

When you don’t vote, what you’re really doing is letting somebody else take power over your own life.  

You wouldn’t give your grandmother the power to decide what clothes you wear to the club.

You wouldn’t give your crazy uncle the power to post a picture to your Instagram feed.  

So, why would you give a stranger the power to make far more important decisions in your life?

Voting is the only way to ensure that your concerns matter.

Period.

 

ABOUT When We All Vote:

When We All Vote—a new national, nonpartisan not-for-profit—brings together citizens, institutions, and organizations to spark a conversation about our rights and responsibilities in shaping our democracy. Namely, the responsibility of registering and voting. When We All Vote’s co-chairs are some of America’s most trusted voices, including Michelle Obama, Tom Hanks, Lin-Manuel Miranda, Janelle Monáe, Chris Paul, Faith Hill, and Tim McGraw. Join the conversation by talking to friends, family, and neighbors about the importance of their voice and their vote. Because When We All Vote, we can change the world.

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FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
October 15, 2018

When We All Vote Encourages Voters To Register Before Voter Registration Deadlines

Boston, MA– When We All Vote is encouraging all eligible voters to check their status and get registered to vote in the midterm elections before it’s too late. The deadline for South Carolina and Massachusetts is this Wednesday, October 17th.

In September, When We All Vote hosted a National Week of Action during which partners and volunteers hosted over 2,500 events in nearly every state. During our Week of Action over 200,000 people took action by hosting or attending an event, and volunteering to help register voters. Co-Chairs Michelle Obama, Tom Hanks, Chris Paul, Faith Hill, Janelle Monáe and more led flagship events in major cities from Atlanta to Las Vegas.

Watch a recap of the Week of Action here: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=GlwZcv_p-xY

ABOUT When We All Vote:

When We All Vote—a new national, nonpartisan not-for-profit—brings together citizens, institutions, and organizations to spark a conversation about our rights and responsibilities in shaping our democracy. Namely, the responsibility of registering and voting. When We All Vote’s co-chairs are some of America’s most trusted voices, including Michelle Obama, Tom Hanks, Lin-Manuel Miranda, Janelle Monáe, Chris Paul, Faith Hill, and Tim McGraw. Join the conversation by talking to friends, family, and neighbors about the importance of their voice and their vote. Because When We All Vote, we can change the world.

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FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
October 15, 2018

When We All Vote Encourages Voters To Register Before Voter Registration Deadlines

Washington, DC: Tomorrow, October 16th is the voter registration deadline for a number of states and When We All Vote is encouraging all eligible voters to check their status and get registered to vote in the midterm elections before it’s too late. The following states and territories have deadlines today: Kansas, Maine*, Maryland**, Minnesota*, New Jersey, Oregon, Washington D.C.* and West Virginia.

In September When We All Vote hosted a National Week of Action during which partners and volunteers hosted over 2,500 events in nearly every state. During our Week of Action over 200,000 people took action by hosting or attending an event, and volunteering to help register voters. Co-Chairs Michelle Obama, Tom Hanks, Chris Paul, Faith Hill, Janelle Monáe and more led flagship events in major cities from Atlanta to Las Vegas.

Watch a recap of the Week of Action here: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=GlwZcv_p-xY

*Registration available at the polls during early voting and on Election Day

**Registration available at the polls only during Early Voting

ABOUT When We All Vote:

When We All Vote—a new national, nonpartisan not-for-profit—brings together citizens, institutions, and organizations to spark a conversation about our rights and responsibilities in shaping our democracy. Namely, the responsibility of registering and voting. When We All Vote’s co-chairs are some of America’s most trusted voices, including Michelle Obama, Tom Hanks, Lin-Manuel Miranda, Janelle Monáe, Chris Paul, Faith Hill, and Tim McGraw. Join the conversation by talking to friends, family, and neighbors about the importance of their voice and their vote. Because When We All Vote, we can change the world.

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FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
October 3, 2018

When We All Vote Releases Final Voter Registration PSA Featuring Young Americans Calling for “Respect”

Washington, DC: Today, When We All Vote released its final voter registration PSA featuring young Americans from all walks of life. Produce by RSA’s Black Dog Films and directed by Maggie Burrows in collaboration with When We All Vote, a new non-partisan effort led by Co-Chair Michelle Obama, the PSA shows how easy it is for every eligible American to get registered and ready to vote.

It also honors the life and legacy of the late Aretha Franklin – a staunch supporter of voting rights. The young people recite, sing and dance to Respect calling for us all to respect their generation.

“In the 2014 midterms, only 23% of eligible 18-35 year olds cast a ballot,” said Kyle Lierman, CEO of When We All Vote. “But in 2018, young people all across the country are speaking up, demanding respect and registering to vote.”

Maggie Burrows added, “When We All Vote gives these voices a platform to call on their peers. Inspired by Aretha Franklin’s adaptation, this video makes R-E-S-P-E-C-T into an anthem for young people—young voters—all across America,”

This PSA comes less than a week before many states voter registration deadlines start on October 9th and on the heels of When We All Vote’s week of action where thousands gathered around the country for over 2,000 grassroots voter registration and education events. It will run on digital platforms around the country.

LINK TO PSA: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=N4Xzz4vPjAU

Participants:

  • Bria Smith, Milwaukee, WI (17 years old)

Student & Blogger. Helped register young voters over the Summer.

  • Sterling Elliot, Newport News, VA (19 years old)

Concert cellist. Second year student at Julliard, New York.

  • Tori Streitmatter, Sparland, IL (24 years old)

Comes from a farming  family in IL. Currently works with an organization that provides resources to the agricultural community.

  • Dominic Cavazos, San Antonio, TX (18 years old)

A Special Olympian and Graduate of Alamo Heights High School

  • Daniel Davila, Encino, CA (22 years old)

Graduate of USC Music, up and coming musician of Puerto Rican descent

ABOUT When We All Vote:

When We All Vote—a new national, nonpartisan not-for-profit—brings together citizens, institutions, and organizations to spark a conversation about our rights and responsibilities in shaping our democracy. Namely, the responsibility of registering and voting.

When We All Vote’s co-chairs are some of America’s most trusted voices, including Michelle Obama, Tom Hanks, Lin-Manuel Miranda, Janelle Monáe, Chris Paul, Faith Hill, and Tim McGraw. Join the conversation by talking to friends, family, and neighbors about the importance of their voice and their vote. Because When We All Vote, we can change the world.

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FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
September 28, 2018

Michelle Obama Fires Up Eligible Voters in Miami, Florida for her final When We All Vote’s Week of Action Rally

MIAMI, FL — Tonight, as apart of When We All Vote’s National Week of Action, Co-Chair Michelle Obama spoke to nearly 5000 people at the Watsco Center at the University of Miami about why voting matters, why we all need to get registered and ready to vote this November and what’s at stake when we stay home.

Mrs. Obama was joined by Angela Rye, gospel artist Erica Campbell, recording artists Kelly Rowland, Fat Joe, actor Keegan-Michael Key, new voter Gabriela Ruiz, and more, who each fired up the crowd with a call to action: To initiate voter registration, people can text “WeAllVote” to 97779.

You can watch Mrs. Obama’s full remarks on When We All Vote’s Youtube channel and Facebook page. A full transcript of her remarks is included below.

 

Transcript of Michelle Obama’s Remarks for When We All Vote Rally – Miami, FL.

September 28, 2018

Wow. Hey!  Whoo! Yes!

Well, hello, Miami!  Oh, my goodness.

Well, I’m happy to be here. Are you all happy to be here?  

Well, let me start by thanking Gabby.  Didn’t she do a great job for that wonderful introduction?  

And I hope there are more Gabbys out there who are going to be voting for their first time.  Yes! I love to hear that.

And we also have to thank the Miami Northwestern High School marching band!   

I was getting my little groove on back there, too.   

And I want to thank everyone from the University of Miami for hosting us here this afternoon.   

I also want to recognize all of the artists and athletes who are here with us today, Keegan-Michael Key.  That man has been working hard this week.

My good friend Kelly Rowland and Erica Campbell. Angela Rye We got Fat Joe in the house!   Piper Perabo, as well as Titus O’Neill. Thank you all so much. I want to thank all of them for joining us here, as well as everyone else who’s helping us out throughout the country on this effort.

And most of all, I want to thank all of you for joining us today.   

Now, as you all know, it’s just a little over five weeks until Election Day.  And we’re rounding out what has been a wonderful week of action for When We All Vote.  

And I couldn’t be more thrilled about everything that’s been happening across this country this week.  We’ve had more than 2,000 grassroots events in everywhere from Honolulu to Boise to right here in Miami.  So, we’ve been everywhere.

The rideshare company, Lyft, has helped to register thousands of riders and drivers, so they’ve been amazing.   

In my home state of Illinois, volunteers we’ve got Illinois in the house! All right!  

We’ve had volunteers from Bradley University who held a registration event at a naturalization ceremony where they helped some of the country’s newest citizens get ready to vote.   

We even heard about a 72-year old Texan who registered for the very first time.  Isn’t that amazing? In 72 years, he has never voted. And he was so proud that he asked for two stickers.  

So, those are the kinds of stories that we’re hearing across the country.

And I’m so grateful to the thousands of organizers, all of my co-chairs, who’ve made this week such a success, everyone who has hosted a house party or stood outside on the corner in the rain, everyone who helped us get the message out that voting matters, not just in this election but in every election.   

And as you guys know, I kicked off the week in Las Vegas, where I once again reminded folks that voting is a fundamental right. It is the only way in our democracy to have a say in the issues we care about.  Essentially, it’s our stake in our children’s future. And I’ve said that over the past decade in election after election, I’ve been saying the same thing.

Now, maybe some folks assumed I was only out there because my husband was on the ballot, so I had some skin in the game. But here’s the thing, my husband is no longer on the ballot and neither am I, and I’m still here.  

And I am not here to tell anyone who to vote for, I’m not stumping for any one candidate.  

To be completely honest ….to be completely honest, I am here because it feels like we are locked in a dangerous cycle when it comes to voting in this country, a cycle that goes something like this.

We tune out of politics, frustrated that it doesn’t reflect our values.  Then election season comes along, and millions of dollars are spent bombarding us with political ads, telling us why this particular race is so important and how this particular candidate has all the answers we’ve been looking for.

Then a bunch of athletes and celebrities and famous people like me travel all across the country telling everyone how crucial it is to get registered and to vote.

And after all that, all that effort, money, time and energy, for a whole host of reasons, some say they’re too busy, some too cynical, some too disconnected, whatever the reason, only a fraction of the population actually bothers to vote.

Then time passes and sooner or later, we’re right back where we started, with folks tuned out, frustrated that our politics don’t reflect our values, and we repeat that cycle again and again and again.

So, is there any wonder why we’re so frustrated and tuned out of our politics?

When a huge chunk of the population sits out of the process, why are we surprised when our politics don’t reflect our values?  

In the 2008 election, Americans cast more votes than ever before. But even when we set a new record for voting, more than 80 million people still didn’t vote. That’s 80 million people. Those are real numbers.

In midterm elections like the one coming up in November, the numbers are even worse.  Only about 40 percent of people vote.

In fact, in the last midterm election in 2014, we saw the lowest percentage of Americans turn out since World War II.  It was all the way down to below 37 percent.

So, let’s think about what those numbers mean in practice.  If a candidate gets elected with less than a 37 percent turnout rate, and we assume their opponents get some of those votes, then that means the percentage of people who actually voted for that candidate is even smaller.

So, if you’re an elected official who wins on those margins, who are you looking out for once you’re in office?  Who are you listening to when it comes time to make hard decisions? If a storm hits and the lights go out, which neighborhood are you going to make sure gets its power back on first?   

Now, we could take our chances and hope that every elected official will look out for everyone the same, whether they voted or not, but as a citizen, wouldn’t you want to be absolutely positive that the folks elected to make those decisions about our daily lives, decisions that range from whether or not the trash is picked up on time to when we send our troops to war, to how victims of sexual assault are treated wouldn’t you want to be sure that those elected officials were thinking about all of us, not just some small percentage of us when they’re making those decisions?   

Well, here’s the truth.  Voting is the only way to ensure that your concerns matter.  Period.

And I know we all care about this stuff, right?  You all wouldn’t be here. We all care about what’s happening on so many issues, right?  

And I also know that it can feel too overwhelming at times.  People are struggling just to get through each day in one piece. They feel like they don’t have time to keep up with all the issues and the candidates’ points of view.  And it’s hard to see how what happens in the state house or the halls of Congress is really relevant to what’s going on in our daily lives.

So, I can see how folks think their votes don’t make a difference.  I know folks are frustrated that there isn’t more progress on the things that affect our daily lives.  Or worse yet, I know some folks think the whole system is rigged, so why bother at all?

So, Miami, I get it, you know, I get being busy, and I definitely get feeling frustrated.  As I said at the beginning of this week, I am frustrated, too. I am tired of the daily chaos, the pettiness, the meanness that too often dominates the political discourse.  We all are. It is exhausting, and honestly, it is depressing.

But here’s what keeps me invested.  Just when I feel like it might be time to shut it all out, I think about my dad.  For anyone who’s known anything about me, you know that my father had MS, a disease that would ultimately take his life.  And despite his illness, my dad was a hardworking man. For most of his life he worked at the city’s water filtration plant in Chicago checking gauges and monitoring the pumps.  And every morning, he put on that uniform, his blue work shit and pants, pair of dark shoes. Then my dad would grab his crutches and he would carefully make his way down a flight of stairs to head off to work.

And my father was proud of the fact that in more than two decades on the job, he didn’t miss a single day of work.   Yeah! That’s my dad. And many men out there like him.

And whenever election season rolled around, I saw him do the same thing. Every election day, he’d grab those crutches and inch down that same flight of stairs to vote.  

When he could, he’d take me with him.  And I remember walking slowly with him down to that parish basement that was where our polling place was in our neighborhood.  And he’d steady himself for a few minutes as he waited in the line, no matter how long it was, and he’s smile and chat up all the folks checking him in, because everybody knew him.  And then he’d take me into that big voting booth and the curtain would close. See, that was back in the day, young people, when there was a real booth and a curtain. And then he’d pull down on these mysterious levers that we used to have back in the day.

I didn’t really know what any of it meant back then, but I knew it was important.  Because no matter what was going on, whether it was raining, whether he was in pain, my father made his way to the polls.

And I don’t share this story because my father was perfect, I share it because he wasn’t and he knew it.  My father wasn’t a wealthy man. He knew the rules were not stacked in his favor. He knew he didn’t work in an industry where high-priced lobbyists would grease the wheels in Washington on his behalf.  He knew he didn’t earn the kind of money or have the kind of clout to assume everything would work out for our family.

So, for him he went to vote for the same reason he went to work.  He did it to provide for his family. He knew that his vote was the only way he could be heard in the halls of power.  He knew his vote could impact the amount of money in his paycheck. He knew that his vote could affect how safe the streets were when his kids were walking home from school.  It could determine whether he could help send his kids to college.

That’s why he showed up.  And he showed up when he was happy with what was going on in city hall or in the state capitol, and he showed up when he wasn’t.  

He showed up to vote in every election because he showed up for his family in every way that he could.   

See, my dad was a voter not because he was rich or had some fancy degree or had some special skill or expertise.  He was a voter because he was a father. It was part of who he was.

And that’s really what this is all about, getting every citizen to make voting a part of who they are.  It’s about helping everyone recognize something that feels important to them, even if it’s only one thing. And it can be anything.

I know that every parent here has opinions about their kids’ schools and whether there’s enough resources to ensure their child is getting the best education possible.  I know that.

I know everyone commuting to work has opinions on the traffic and the bus routes.  

I know every parent wants their kids to be safe, whether they’re at school or at a concert with friends.  

And Lord knows, we all have opinions on issues like healthcare and the economy and how much we’re paying in taxes.  

What we need to do is bridge the gap between caring about that kind of stuff and actually doing something about it. That’s our job.  Because if you care about something but you don’t make your voice heard, trust me, as I said last week, this democracy will move on without you.  

That’s how it works, that’s how it should work.  While you’re staying silent, frustrated, mad, thinking the system is rigged, other people are speaking up.  And you might not like what they have to say. They might not see things the way you do. They might not understand the kinds of challenges your family is dealing with.  They might not have any problem leaving you and your family behind.

So, when you don’t vote, what you’re really doing is letting somebody else take power over your own life.  

And as I said last week, you wouldn’t give your grandmother the power to decide what clothes you wear to the club. You wouldn’t give your crazy uncle the power to post a picture to your Instagram feed.  So, why would you give a stranger the power to make far more important decisions in your life? Period.

So, we got to get folks thinking about taking some of their power back.  We’ve got to get folks thinking about what’s important to them. And even if they’ve never voted before, even if they’ve only voted once in a while, we need to get them fired up about voting as soon as possible.  And that starts right now with this election on November the 6th.

And what’s important for you all to know is that you all will be better at getting this done than I ever will be.  And I mean that seriously. Because we’ve seen studies that show that the most effective way to reach somebody who doesn’t vote is by talking to them face-to-face.  Folks who don’t vote don’t really want to hear from just athletes and celebrities and famous people on TV. They’ll just tune us out. But they’ll listen to their friends, they’ll listen to their family members, they’ll listen to their neighbors, they’ll listen to somebody who they believe understands them, somebody they trust.

And that’s where all of you all come in.  And this is what I need you to do. I need you to reach out to every person you know, who you think might not be planning to vote in November.  Could be a brother, a sister, your friend, somebody on your soccer team, a neighbor, somebody you’re walking the dog with, anybody, whoever they are.  I need you to ask them what they care about, engage them. I need you to help them figure out how to cast their ballot.

And as you know, if they’re not registered, you all know this by heart, how can they get started?  What do they text?

AUDIENCE and MICHELLE OBAMA:  WeAllVote to 97779.

MICHELLE OBAMA:  Miami is good. You guys are good on that.   

They’ve got to do it by the deadline in their state, and here in Florida that’s October the 9th.  And then after they’re registered, I want you to help them get ready to vote. Tell them about how they can go to an early voting location.  There are so many ways to do this. They can vote my mail from the kitchen table. That’s how I vote every year. Or they can vote in person right in their neighborhood on the 6th.

So, do you guys think you can do that for me?   

Because you wouldn’t be here if you weren’t ready to do that, right?   

And here’s the thing, Miami.  As you all are getting out there, just remember this last thing:  Do not underestimate the power of bringing more people into the process.  Elections can be decided by just a few votes per precinct. Sometimes, they’re decided by just a handful of votes altogether.

In Florida, you all know something about this -I’m not just talking about presidential elections.  Back in 2016, a city commissioner’s race in Coco Beach was decided by eight total votes, the whole thing, eight people.  That’s like your hope.

The race for mayor in South Daytona was decided by five votes, y’all, five.  

And I want you all to hold onto that, because that’s true.  When I was campaigning for Barack, there would be 50 votes per precinct, a hundred votes per precinct.  

So every vote matters. It really does. Nobody can say that their vote doesn’t matter.  If they’re saying that, they just don’t understand the numbers.

So, you never know.  In a few weeks, you and your brother might decide who the mayor is. You and the group of your friends texting emojis, you might elect who represents you in Washington. You all have that power.

And we’ve got to start dreaming. Because who knows what would happen if we did that?  Who knows what the world might look like when we all vote? Not just this November but in every election every time, all the time.

When we all vote, imagine the kind of schools we can demand for our kids.   

Imagine the things we can demand for our communities, safer streets, cleaner water, better after-school programs, all the things we’ve been hoping for.

When we all vote, imagine the kind of leaders we’ll elect.  Those who share our values and who understand our lives and who set a good example for our kids.

Imagine the level of respect and dignity we can ensure for all of our citizens, no matter what we look like, who we worship, or whether we happen to be a woman. It is all within our grasp.  

But we’ve got to do the work.  It ain’t easy, we got to do the work.  

So, I want you all to take this energy that you’re feeling right here and run with it.  I want you to go out there for the next five and a half weeks and make sure that everyone you know is voting on behalf of something they believe in.  Make sure everyone is as fired up as you all are right now.

And then, I want you to go out there after November, because this is not about one election — that’s the only reason I’m doing this, because this is not about one election.  We cannot stop now. We need to keep talking about voting until every single person in your life makes being a voter part of who they are.

We’ve got to make voting trendy.  We’ve got to hashtag it. We’ve got to sing about it.   

And for all the young people in the room, this is your future. It’s time for us to move out of the way and let you lead. But if you don’t take that power, and you don’t understand what that power means, then we’ll be back in that cycle.  

And we don’t want that for any of our young people.  We want you to have the futures that are worthy of your dreams.  This is no longer about me, it’s not about Barack, it’s about you.  This is the country that you will grow into. It will be the country that you raise your children in.  So, you have to decide what it looks like, how do we treat each other, what do we value, what do we care about.  That’s for your generation to decide.

So, I want you all to get on it, make it happen, and don’t stop until this is a forever proposition.

Thank you, guys.  God bless.

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FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
September 28, 2018

When We All Vote Co-Chair Janelle Monáe, Angela Rye Rallied Atlanta University Center Students

‘Register to Vote’ Message Loud and Clear

ATLANTA, GA– Janelle Monáe and Angela Rye headlined When We All Vote’s voter registration rally yesterday at Spelman College. Over 800 students, faculty and staff of the Atlanta University Center including Morehouse, Spelman and Clark Atlanta University packed Sisters Chapel to register and hear why voting matters.

When We All Vote partnered with The Root on this event and  first time voters and students Nailah Reine Barnes and Julius Harrison McAllister III told the audience of students about why voting in every election is important to them.

Ambassador Angela Rye fired up the crowd with a call to action: To initiate voter registration, people can text “WeAllVote” to 97779. When We All Vote Co-Chair Janelle Monáe delivered an impassioned speech about the unique power of the vote to influence policy change at the local, state and national level.

Volunteers are hosting more than 2000 grassroots events across the country during When We All Vote’s Week of Action, between September 22 – 29. These events have recruited more volunteers, educated and registered voters, and gotten people fired up and ready to vote in every election. Tonight, Mrs. Obama will host her final event at the University of Miami.

When We All Vote is a new national nonpartisan, non-profit organization whose mission is to change the culture around voting and increase participation in this and every election. This initiative was launched by Co-Chairs Michelle Obama, Tom Hanks, Janelle Monáe, Chris Paul, Faith Hill and Tim McGraw.

In a video, Co-Chair Michelle Obama thanked Atlanta for joining forces with When We All Vote to get every American registered and ready to vote.

Watch her message HERE

Photos from yesterday’s event below:

Angela Rye — September 27, 2018
Janelle Monáe — September 27, 2018
Volunteers Ready to Register Folks to Vote — September 27, 2018
AUC Students Rallied to Vote — September 27, 2018

ABOUT When We All Vote: https://www.whenweallvote.org/about-us/

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FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
September 26, 2018

***MEDIA ADVISORY***

Keegan-Michael Key & Loni Love Headline When We All Vote’s

Week of Action, Voter Registration Rally in Detroit  

DETROIT, MI–  On Thursday, September 27, Detroit natives Keegan-Michael Key and Loni Love will headline When We All Vote’s Week of Action event in Detroit to help register and fire up eligible voters before Election Day. The event will take place at the IBEW Local 58.

When We All Vote is a new national nonpartisan, non-profit organization whose mission is to change the culture around voting and increase participation in this and every election. This initiative was launched by Co-Chair’s Michelle Obama, Tom Hanks, Janelle Monae, Chris Paul, Faith Hill and Tim McGraw.

During the Week of Action volunteers are hosting more than 2000 grassroots events across the country. The purpose of these events is to recruit more volunteers, educate, register voters, and get them ready to vote every election. Mrs. Obama hosted her first event Sunday night in Las Vegas and will help close out the week with an event in Miami on September 28th.

Today, Mrs. Obama marked National Voter Registration Day by releasing a national PSA on “What’s At Stake” in every election.

Watch her message HERE

***PRESS MUST RSVP HERE TO RECEIVE CREDENTIALS AND CONTACT INFORMATION.***

DETAILS

WHAT: A free, public rally with Keegan-Michael Key, Loni Love. The public can RSVP at weall.vote/detroit

WHEN: September 27, 2018, 5:00-7:00 PM EST

WHERE: IBEW Local 58, 1358 Abbott Street, Detroit, MI 48226

*PRESS ARRIVAL: 4:30-5:00PM. ALL media must arrive before 5:00PM.*

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FOR PLANNING PURPOSES ONLY
September 26, 2018

***MEDIA ADVISORY***

When We All Vote Co-Chair Janelle Monae, Angela Rye Rally Atlanta University Center Students to Register to Vote

ATLANTA, GA- Tomorrow, Janelle Monae and Angela Rye will headline When We All Vote’s Week of Action voter registration rally at Spelman College for the students, faculty and staff  of the Atlanta University Center. This event is in partnership with The Root.

First time voters and students Nailah Reine Barnes and Julius Harrison McAllister III will also participate in the program and share their perspective on why it’s important to register and vote.

When We All Vote is a new national nonpartisan, non-profit organization whose mission is to change the culture around voting and increase participation in this and every election. This initiative was launched by Co-Chair’s Michelle Obama, Tom Hanks, Janelle Monae, Chris Paul, Faith Hill and Tim McGraw.

During the Week of Action volunteers are hosting more than 2000 grassroots events across the country. The purpose of these events is to recruit more volunteers, educate, register voters, and get them ready to vote every election. Mrs. Obama hosted her first event Sunday night in Las Vegas and will help close out the week with an event in Miami on September 28th.

Yesterday, in celebration of National Voter Registration Day, When We All Vote released a PSA featuring Mrs. Obama speaking about “What’s At Stake” on November 6.

Watch her message HERE

***PRESS MUST RSVP HERE TO RECEIVE CREDENTIALS AND CONTACT INFORMATION.***

DETAILS

WHAT:

Rally for the students and faculty of the Atlanta University Center with Janelle Monae, Angela Rye. This event is closed to the public.

 

DATE:

TOMORROW, Thursday September 27, 2018

3:00PM (Voter Reg) 4:00 -5:00 PM EST(program)

WHERE: Sisters Chapel, Spelman College

440 Westview Drive S.W. Spelman College Atlanta, GA, 30310

 

*PRESS ARRIVAL: 2:00-3:00PM.*

LIVESTREAM: Our speakers will be live-streamed at weall.vote/atlanta

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FOR PLANNING PURPOSES ONLY
September 25, 2018

***MEDIA ADVISORY***

When We All Vote Co-Chair Tom Hanks & Pittsburgh Steelers Rally to

Get Folks Registered to Vote

Pittsburgh, PA–  In celebration of National Voter Registration Day, When We All Vote Co-Chair Tom Hanks held a Week of Action event in Pittsburgh to help register and fire up eligible voters before Election Day.

Pittsburgh Steelers running back James Conner, team executive Jim Rooney, and Kiya Tomlin, fashion designer and wife of head coach Mike Tomlin, will join Hanks at this free event at Soldiers & Sailors Memorial Hall and Museum.

When We All Vote is a new national nonpartisan, nonprofit organization whose mission is to change the culture around voting and increase participation in this and every election. This initiative was launched by Co- Chair’s Michelle Obama, Tom Hanks, Janelle Monae, Chris Paul, Faith Hill and Tim McGraw.

During the Week of Action volunteers are hosting nearly 2000 grassroots events across the country. The purpose of these events is to recruit more volunteers, educate, register voters, and get them ready to vote every election. Co-Chair Michelle Obama hosted her first event Sunday night in Las Vegas and will help close out the week with an event in Miami on September 28th.

***PRESS MUST RSVP HERE TO RECEIVE CREDENTIALS AND CONTACT INFORMATION. ***

DETAILS

WHAT: A free, public rally with Tom Hanks, Jim Rooney, Kiya Tomlin, and James Conner.

WHEN: September 25, 2018, 6:30-8:30 PM EST

WHERE: Soldiers & Sailors Memorial Hall and Museum, 4141 Fifth Ave, Pittsburgh, PA 15213

TICKETS: This event is free and open to the public. RSVP HERE: weall.vote/pittsburgh

*PRESS ARRIVAL: 5:00-6:00PM. ALL media must arrive before 6:00PM.*

 

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FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
September 25, 2018

***MEDIA ADVISORY***

Kelly Rowland, Keegan-Michael Key, Erica Campbell, Angela Rye and More Will Join Michelle Obama at When We All Vote Rally in Miami

Ticket Distribution Begins Tomorrow: Wednesday, September 26

MIAMI, FL–  Michelle Obama will host her final rally for When We All Vote’s Week of Action September 28 at the Watsco Center at the University of Miami. She will joined by Angela Rye, gospel artist Erica Campbell, recording artists Kelly Rowland, Fat Joe, actor Keegan-Michael Key and more.

This event is free and open to the public and tickets will be available for pick up for the next two days: Tomorrow (9/26) and Thursday (9/27) only. All attendees must RSVP HERE, then pick up their tickets at the designated ticket locations listed below. Only ticket holders will be allowed into the event.

DETAILS

WHAT: When We All Vote Rally with Michelle Obama

WHEN: Friday, Sept 28 // 4:00 – 6:00 PM ET

WHERE: Watsco Center, University of Miami

     1245 Dauer Dr, Coral Gables, FL 33146

TICKETS: Tickets MUST be picked-up on Sept. 26 or Sept. 27. Locations below.

**Press can RSVP here. Press confirmations are forthcoming.**

—————————————————————

When We All Vote Miami Rally

TICKET DISTRIBUTION LOCATIONS AND HOURS

—————————————————————

Wednesday, 9/26

Florida Immigration Coalition (FLIC)

2800 Biscayne Blvd., Suite 200, Miami, FL 33137

11:00AM — 6:00PM

 

New Florida Majority Education Fund

10800 Biscayne Blvd., Suite 1050, Miami, FL 33161

1:00PM — 4:30PM

 

Engage Miami

8325 NE 2nd Avenue, #118, Miami, FL 33138

1:00PM — 6:00PM

 

Emgage Florida

8360 Oakland Park Blvd., Sunrise, FL 33351

1:00PM — 5:00PM

 

Thursday, 9/27

New Florida Majority Education Fund

10800 Biscayne Blvd., Suite 1050, Miami, FL 33161

9:30AM — 4:30PM

 

Florida Immigration Coalition (FLIC)

2800 Biscayne Blvd., Suite 200, Miami, FL 33137

11:00AM — 6:00PM

 

Engage Miami

8325 NE 2nd Avenue, #118, Miami, FL 33138

1:00PM — 6:00PM

 

Emgage Florida

8360 Oakland Park Blvd., Sunrise, FL 33351

1:00PM — 5:00PM

This event may reach capacity, so please pick up your ticket soon.

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FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
September 25, 2018

When We All Vote Releases New Michelle Obama PSA Marking National Voter Registration Day

WASHINGTON, DC — In celebration of National Voter Registration Day, When We All Vote released a new PSA featuring Co-Chair Michelle Obama reminding Americans of “What’s At Stake” in each election.

“This election is your chance to hold your leaders accountable. It’s how you make your voice heard on everything from your kids’ education to the safety of your community. So there is a lot at stake this November, and in every election”, said Mrs. Obama. The PSA will run on digital platforms across the country over the next few weeks, as voter registration deadlines near in many states. The campaign also recently launched its text message campaign which allows people to text WeAllVote to 97779 to register to vote.

This week volunteers will host more than 2000 grassroots events across the country as part of our national Week of Action. People can sign up to attend these events here. The purpose of these events is to recruit more volunteers, educate, register voters, and get them ready to vote in every election.

  • Tonight, Tom Hanks and members of the Pittsburgh Steelers will host an event in Pittsburgh.
  • Thursday, Sept. 27, Co-Chair Janelle Monae will host an event in Atlanta. Loni Love and Keegan-Michael Key will host an event in Detroit.
  • Friday, Sept. 28, Co-Chair Michelle Obama will host an event in Miami, and Shonda Rhimes will lead events in Los Angeles.

*Press can RSVP for credentials to these flagship Week of Action events HERE*

FULL TRANSCRIPT

There’s another election coming up on November 6th.
That’s right – it’s almost here.
And this election is your chance
to hold your leaders accountable…
It’s how you make your voice heard on everything
from your kids’ education to the safety of your community.
So there is a lot at stake this November…
and in every election.
And when we stay home, things stay the same…
or they get worse.
Critical issues get ignored…
and people get frustrated.
But when we all vote, we get new ideas and new energy.
We get leaders who share our values and stand up for us in the halls of power.
We change America.
That’s why it’s so important to register right now
and vote on November 6th, and in every election.
Go to WhenWeAllVote.org
or text WeAllVote to 97779 to get registered.
Then get to the polls on November 6th and make your voice heard.

ABOUT When We All Vote:

When We All Vote—a new national, nonpartisan not-for-profit—brings together citizens, institutions, and organizations to spark a conversation about our rights and responsibilities in shaping our democracy. Namely, the responsibility of registering and voting.

When We All Vote’s co-chairs are some of America’s most trusted voices, including Michelle Obama, Tom Hanks, Lin-Manuel Miranda, Janelle Monáe, Chris Paul, Faith Hill, and Tim McGraw. Join the conversation by talking to friends, family, and neighbors about the importance of their voice and their vote. Because When We All Vote, we can change the world.

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FOR PLANNING PURPOSES ONLY
September 24, 2018

***MEDIA ADVISORY***

Faith Hill Joined by Tennessee Titan Delanie Walker, CMT’s Katie Cook and More for When We All Vote Rally

NASHVILLE, TN– Faith Hill, Co-Chair of When We All Vote, will headline a rally at Marathon Music Works in Nashville, TN this Monday night. Katie Cook of CMT Network, will emcee the event, which will feature a live performance by Nashville musician KS Rhoads.

A speaker from CivicTN and a new voter from Nashville will discuss the importance of voting and how to get registered and ready to vote. Tennessee Titan Delanie Walker will speak to the crowd about his decision to become a more active participant in our democracy by voting this November.

We want to make sure that the Nashville community is aware that this event is FREE and open to the public. Folks can sign up to attend here. We hope that you are interested in covering our event this Saturday. Press can RSVP here.

DETAILS:

When We All Vote Rally with Faith Hill, Delanie Walker, Katie Cook, KS Rhoads
Monday, Sept. 24 //  6:00-8:00 PM

Marathon Music Works
1402 Clinton St, Nashville, TN

PRESS:

ARRIVE 5:00-5:30 PM, NO LATER THAN 5:30PM.

ABOUT When We All Vote and the Week of Action

Faith’s event will be the fourth flagship event of the When We All Vote Week of Action taking place September 22 – 29th, following lively events in New York, Houston and Las Vegas. The Week of Action features more than 2,000 grassroots events across the country, where Americans are encouraged to register voters, and motivate them to vote in every election.

When We All Vote—a new national, nonpartisan not-for-profit—brings together citizens, institutions, and organizations to spark a conversation about our rights and responsibilities in shaping our democracy. Namely, the responsibility of registering and voting.

For more information on When We All Vote, please visit: When We All Vote

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FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
September 24, 2018

Michelle Obama Fires Up Volunteers and Eligible Voters in Las Vegas, Nevada for When We All Vote’s Week of Action Rally

Las Vegas: On Sunday, as apart of When We All Vote’s National Week of Action, Co-Chair Michelle Obama spoke to over 2600 volunteers and eligible voters in Las Vegas, NV at Chaparral High School about the importance of their voice and their vote.

You can watch her full remarks on When We All Vote’s Youtube and Facebook page. A full transcript of her remarks in included below.

Transcript of Michelle Obama’s Remarks for When We All Vote Rally – Las Vegas, NV.

September 23, 2018

Wow. Yes. Yes. Oh, my goodness. Oh. Wow. You guys. All right. All right. This is Sunday. I know. You all came out on a Sunday. So I don’t want to keep you because y’all are already fired up. I think you all have the message. But let me just thank you all so much.

I have to start… we just have to take a moment and take in what Aaron just said. I mean, I was backstage almost crying over the passion that young man has. That’s what we have to remember… that’s at stake in every election and this election. So I’m proud of young people like Aaron who are taking that loss and turning it into something powerful. And that’s the choice we all have to make again and again. So let’s give Aaron a big round of applause. So proud of him.

I also want to thank Principal Jones here at the Chaparral High School and all the administrators for allowing us to be here tonight. But most of all, I want to thank all of you for taking time out of your busy lives on a Sunday to come here and be a part of this effort. I love you all too. I love you, truly.

So we know why we’re here. Six weeks until Election Day. But I’m not here to campaign for any candidate. I’m not here to tell anyone how to vote. I’m here today to talk about why voting matters and why we all need to get registered and ready to vote this November.

And I have to tell you that this all feels a little too familiar to me. You know? I’m having a bit of weird deja vu at the moment. I haven’t done this in a while. Because sadly though, this isn’t the first time I’ve talked about the importance of voting. Over the past decade — really over the past decade — and election after election, I’ve traveled across the country telling folks the same thing. Voting is a fundamental right. And our vote is our voice. I’ve said it again and again. It’s our way to have a say in the issues we care about. It’s how democracy works. It’s our stake in our children’s future.

I’ve said it again and again. Nothing has really changed. It still matters. And I’m not the only one who’s traveling around talking about this issue. My husband, once again. We like him. And trust me, he was looking forward to putting his feet up, kicking back, and not having to do this again and again and again. But he’s out there.

And we’ve got a whole slew of community leaders and athletes and celebrities who have been talking about voting again. Every two years. We have all kinds of registration drives and rallies like this one. And thousands of people, like many of you, work your hearts out to get people to the polls on Election Day.

But after all that effort, here’s where we end up: still, in presidential elections, only about half of eligible people bother to vote. That’s in a presidential election. In midterm elections, like the one coming up in November, when no one is running for president, the turn-out is even lower. It’s the truth. That’s where we are. And right now, one in five eligible people in this country are not even registered to vote.

So here we are. And I have to tell you, I’ve been asking myself, “What’s going on? What is going on? Why are some folks still not showing up to vote?” And I know it’s not because people don’t care. That I know. We all care about what happens in our communities. Right? Especially when things go wrong, we care.

And it’s not that folks don’t have opinions on the issues, right? I know that at kitchen tables and barber shops and beauty shops and sports bars and diners all across the nation, people have a whole lot to say about the state of this country. We all have opinions, right? Every parent has an opinion about their child’s school, whether there’s enough resources to ensure that their child is getting the best education possible. Every parent wants their kids to be safe, whether they’re at school or at a concert. And we all have opinions on issues like healthcare, the economy, how much we’re paying in taxes.

But even with all that said, there are still millions of people who think that voting isn’t relevant to their lives… or they think voting won’t make a difference… or they think the system is rigged, so why bother?  Or maybe they feel overwhelmed, like the issues are too complicated and that politics is just too ugly. So they just don’t want to get involved.

Some folks are real busy. They’re like, “Hey, I got so much going on. I’m just trying to get my kids to daycare, trying to get to work, maybe get some sleep.” They just feel like they don’t have time for anything else in their lives.

And trust me, I get it. I get being busy. I definitely get feeling frustrated. Because, believe me, I am frustrated too. I am sick of all the chaos and the nastiness of our politics. It’s exhausting, and frankly, it’s depressing.

So I understand wanting to shut it all out and just go on and try to live your life, take care of your family in peace. But here’s the problem, while some folks are frustrated and tuned out and staying home on election day, trust me, other folks are showing up. Democracy continues with or without you.

They’re voting in every election from city council to governor to president because the folks who are voting know the impact that these leaders they pick can have on every single part of our lives.

Those sheriffs that we elect, they decide how the streets are policed. The school board members we vote on, they determine how our kids’ schools are run. The mayors we send to city hall, they can fix those crumbling roads and the public transportation system, or not. The folks who represent us in Congress pass laws on everything from job creation to whether we go to war. And those are just the candidates on the ballot.

This November across America there are also what are known as ballot initiatives on everything from supporting housing for veterans, whether we promote renewable energy, to improving facilities for our senior citizens. Those things are on the ballot, and the people who show up to the polls this November will decide what happens on every single one those issues.

So really, when you think about it, not voting is like letting your grandma pick your clothes out. Now, no offense to grandma. My mom is with me today, and we love grandma. I love when grandma comes to visit. I love spending time with her… eating her pie… eating her chicken.

But how many people here, especially those of you under 30, would let your grandma decide what you wear to the club? How many of you would drive the car that grandma chose for you to drive, or live in an apartment with furniture grandma picked out for you?

All jokes aside, my point being (and I’m being funny) is that not many of you would want somebody who’s not you and doesn’t live in the same space as you, doesn’t see the world in the same way as you, even when they love you and love them, you wouldn’t let them do that for you because you know that grandma’s choices for you are not the choices you’d make for yourself.

What Grandma thinks is good for you isn’t necessarily what you think is good for you. With all the love in the world. You certainly wouldn’t go to some random stranger in the streets somewhere, somebody who doesn’t know anything about your life, someone who doesn’t care about your community, doesn’t understand it, doesn’t know it, and ask that person to pick your doctor. Or have that person figure out whether your daycare is safe, or whether the water you’re drinking is clean. You wouldn’t expect somebody else to take care of your stuff. But when you don’t vote – and that’s the thing I don’t understand – when you don’t vote, that’s exactly what you’re doing.

You’re letting other people make some really key decisions about the life you’re going to live, the place you’re going to live, how it’s going to work out for you. You’re just saying, “you do it.” And you may not like what they decide. You might not like living with the consequences of other people’s choices. But that’s what happens when you stay home. You’re essentially putting your future in the hands of others.

And the truth is, that’s exactly what some folks are that hoping you’ll do. They’re hoping that you’ll just let them make these important decisions for you. “Just sit back, let me figure this out for you.” There are people out there right now who are making it harder to vote. But we have to kind of sit with that for a moment because you’ve got to ask yourselves, in this democracy, why on Earth would anybody, regardless of party, want to make it harder for people to participate in the democracy?

But that’s happening right now all over the place. They’re closing down polling places. They’re making it harder for volunteers to get people registered. They’re finding all kinds of ways to keep you at home, hoping when you hear about all those things, you’ll just give up and just think voting is too hard, that it will take hours of your time, that it requires some special skills and expertise that you don’t have. That’s what they want.

And you can see how those kind of tactics can make people start feeling like, “this is too hard for me.” We all know someone who feels like that. Regardless of party. We all know someone who thinks that way. An uncle, a neighbor, someone you grew up with. And that’s why we’re here today. We know that’s going to be up to folks like us who will come out on a Sunday for a rally like this to help those folks out, to help tell the truth about voting.

And the truth is that registering to vote just isn’t hard. It doesn’t take long. It’s just a few minutes. And once you’re registered, in many states, including here in Nevada, you can vote by mail. I do that all the time. I vote by mail in my house. In my jeans. In my sneakers. Comfortable. Not rushed. Not hunkered over. Fill out the ballot at your kitchen table and just drop it in the mail. And it works. It’s just that easy.

And voting in person can be just as fast. In fact, in 2016, the average length of time voters waited in line at a polling place was about eleven minutes. Just eleven minutes and that’s an average. Some places, it was even shorter than that. Just think about it. You spend eleven minutes on your phone watching videos on a given day. You spend eleven minutes choosing the Instagram filters to text your boo, right? So the thing we have to tell ourselves is, we have eleven minutes to do a lot of stuff.

If we have eleven minutes to do stuff that does nothing for our daily lives, then we’ve got eleven minutes to vote. And trust me, here’s something I want to make sure people understand: voting doesn’t require any special expertise. You don’t have to have some fancy degree to be qualified to vote. You don’t have to read every news article to be qualified to vote. You know what you need to be qualified to vote? You need to be a citizen. You need to be a part of this country. You need to have opinions about the issues in your community. That’s what qualifies you to vote.

Caring about your kids’ future qualifies you to be a voter. Wanting a say in what happens in this country qualifies you to be a voter. So don’t be intimidated. Don’t let somebody intimidate you from being a part of this process. I’ve been voting since I was 18 years old. And trust me, I didn’t know nothing about nothing at 18 years old. Right? But what you do know is what you care about. For all the young people, you do know you have a voice. You do have opinions about what goes on. That qualifies you to vote.

And it’s not that hard. Plenty of folks of all ages are registering to vote for the very first time. And that should be a source of pride. That should be as important as getting your driver’s license, right? So those young people know they want to have a say about what goes on in their neighborhoods. And they know it’s time for a change. That’s how folks all over this country are making change in their communities.

Just to give you an example, there’s a little county in Missouri, Boone County. There were families there struggling to get their families the mental health care they needed. Hundreds of families had been requesting counseling services for their kids, but the resources weren’t there. The folks in Boone County came together. They came up with a plan to fund children’s mental health care. They gathered signatures they needed to get their issue on the ballot, and then they got out and voted. Today, just a few years later in Boone County, they’re providing counseling for kids who need it. They’re doing mental health screenings for every child in the county. They’re doing mental health screenings for every child in the county. They’re teaching childcare advocates to better support kids with challenges.

This all happened because folks in that county in one part of this nation believed their kids deserved better. And they knew the vote was the way to make it happen. Don’t let anybody tell you that vote doesn’t matter. Those folks in Boone County could have sat back and said, oh my god, this is awful. Our kids aren’t being treated well. What a shame. Everything feels so hopeless. I’m just going to stay home. They could have done that, but they realized it’s actually the other way around how our democracy works. They realized the only way to make change in this country is to get out and vote for the change you’re looking for.

When they showed up to vote, things happened. And the same things can happen on every issue everywhere in this country. That’s how change happens in America. So our vote matters. It always does, but only if we use that vote.

Let’s just imagine… what if this year we actually did that? What if this year every eligible American decided to step up and be a vote? What if each of us found at least one candidate we liked on a ballot, one initiative we care about, and that was enough to get us into the polling place? Let’s think about that for a minute. What can actually happen when we all vote?

For starters, the folks we elect will have to listen to us and do something about the issues we care about because we put them there. And the next election they’ll know we can either keep them there of vote them out. There’s power in that. That is the power when we all vote.

When we all vote, Imagine the kind of schools we can demand for our kids, schools that aren’t falling apart… schools that don’t have to hold bake sales to buy textbooks… schools that give all of our kids, and I mean all of our kids, education worthy of their promise.

When we all vote, imagine what we can demand for our communities… safer streets, cleaner water, after school programs for all of our kids. All the thing we’ve been wishing and hoping for.

When we all vote, imagine the kind of leaders we can elect. Leaders who share out values. Leaders who understand, in the deepness of their bones, the struggle and hopes of all of us. Leaders who want the best for all of our families, not just the handful but all of us. That’s how democracy works here in America. We get the leaders we vote for. We get the policies we vote for. And when we don’t vote, that’s when we wind up with government of, by, and or other people.

And that’s not what we want. So listen up. If you are not registered to vote, please just get registered. Please. I’ll say it again. Please just get registered. I don’t care who you vote for. Be registered. Be involved in this. Don’t be intimidated by it. Don’t think you can’t make it happen. Just be registered. And you’ve heard to do that today, take out your phone and text WeALLVOTE to 97779.

You can do that right now. You can learn to register online or request a registration form with a prepaid envelope to be sent right to your house. Don’t even need a stamp. Fill it out, have it done. And if you’re registered to vote, I want you to— to reach out to everyone you know, whoever is in your life, because here’s the thing — this is what we’ve learned from all the studies. Look, people don’t really want to hear from celebrities and athletes and famous people, because they don’t know us. They don’t necessarily trust that I really care. Maybe some people have learned over the years that I actually do care.

But here’s the thing. In all fairness, people listen to the people in their lives, right? Family members… you know you’ve got a brother, an uncle, somebody who likes you, who respects you. You’ve got colleagues, friends, young people here. You all know you have a couple of people who listen to you over a bunch of stuff you don’t know nothing about. You can have a bigger influence over the people in your lives more so than I can, more so than anyone really can.

So for the people who are registered, who are here, who are focused, do not take for granted that getting a few more people registered and getting them to the polls won’t make difference, because it will. It absolutely will.

I say this in election after election because so few people vote. Elections in precinct by precinct can be decided by 10 votes, 20 votes, I mean really 50 votes. Presidential elections in districts are decided by 50 people who decided not to. It’s that small of a margin. And people feel like, it must be millions and millions of votes. No. When so few people get involved in the democratic process, the people who are involved have way more control over it. So don’t ever underestimate the power of pulling more people in. So we want you to go out there and find other people.

We need you guys. And I am here asking you for this. I am here asking you for this. You all stop this now. Here’s what we have to do. If we want qualified people who we trust… if we want qualified people that we trust, then people have to vote. Because you can’t vote some of the time and then sit out.

We saw that happen. We experienced that. We had a great president, but every couple of years folks sat out and said, “Well, I did my part. I voted once. I’m done. I’m out.” And I’m just telling you that democracy doesn’t work that way. As I said earlier, democracy doesn’t wait for you to be bothered. It moves on, as it rightly should.

And therefore, the people who vote determine the direction of the country. They determine the mood, the tone, and the people who stay out don’t get a say. And I want every American to feel the power of that choice so that no matter what happens, people aren’t thinking if I could, woulda, and maybe I shoulda. We all have that responsibility, and we have to figure out what’s happening where people don’t want to exercise that. The has got me in a quandary.

I wonder, what is it? What will it take for people to decide that it’s worth it? So I’m here today because I want to see what this country can do when they know what their power is. Because it doesn’t matter what leaders you elect. If they don’t have your vote behind them, there’s only so much they can do. It is not about the leader. The power of our democracy is in us.

The person that you’re looking for is standing in your shoes. You’re the person who can save yourself from this. We are our heroes. We are our leaders. That doesn’t change, and it doesn’t matter who runs. It’s on us.

So you all have your marching orders, right? And let me just say, Nevada, I love you. I know you’re going to get this done. Election Day is coming right around the corner. I want you all to take this energy, and not just have this moment here with me, but to take this energy and run with it. There’s a limit of time to get this stuff done. This room here, if everybody in this gym were fired up and motivated… Wow. That’s enough to make some real change. So let’s make it happen. You guys are amazing. Thank you for taking the time out of your schedules. I love you all so much. Let’s get it done. Thank you.

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FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
September 20, 2018

Michelle Obama Featured in New When We All Vote PSA, Campaign Announces Nearly 2,000 Events Around the Country for the National Week of Action Kicking Off  Saturday

WASHINGTON, DC — In the run up to the National Week of Action, When We All Vote, a non-partisan, non-profit organization, released a new PSA featuring Co-Chair Michelle Obama encouraging Americans to register to vote and get to the polls this November and in every election.  “When We All Vote, we get new ideas and new energy. We get leaders that share our values” said Mrs. Obama in the PSA that will run on digital platforms and on radio across the country. The PSA will air over the next two weeks before voter registration deadlines.

Today, When We All Vote also launched it’s text message campaign which allows people to text WeAllVote to 97779 to register to vote.

During the Week of Action volunteers will host nearly 2000 grassroots events across the country. The purpose of these events is to recruit more volunteers, educate, register voters, and get them ready to vote every election. As previously announced, Co-Chair Michelle Obama will headline events during the Week of Action in Las Vegas (Sept. 23)  and Miami (Sept. 28). Co-Chairs Janelle Monae, Chris Paul, Tom Hanks and Faith Hill will also lead flagship events along with Loni Love, Keegan-Michael Key and Shonda Rhimes in Atlanta, Houston, Pittsburgh, Nashville, Detroit and Los Angeles, respectively.

People can sign up to attend or host their own events during Week of Action HERE

Press can RSVP to cover our Week of Action events HERE

Full Transcript

“Why should I vote?”
“Nothing ever changes.”
“The system is rigged.”
“Why bother?”
Whether you’re trying to get dinner on the table after
working a double shift…
dropping baby off with Grandma…
or studying for exams…
voting can feel like the furthest thing from your mind.
You might even feel like it’s just not worth it.
But that’s exactly what some people want you to think.
The truth is, when we stay home, things stay the same…
or they get worse.
But when we all vote, we get new ideas and new energy…
we get leaders who share our values and listen to our voices.
That’s how we change America.
And that’s why it’s so important to register right now
and vote this November, and in every election.
Go to WhenWeAllVote.org
or text WeAllVote to 97779 to get started.
And know that your vote will make a difference.
Be sure to get registered and get to the polls on November 6th.

ABOUT When We All Vote:
When We All Vote—a new national, nonpartisan not-for-profit—brings together citizens, institutions, and organizations to spark a conversation about our rights and responsibilities in shaping our democracy. Namely, the responsibility of registering and voting.

When We All Vote’s co-chairs are some of America’s most trusted voices, including Michelle Obama, Tom Hanks, Lin-Manuel Miranda, Janelle Monáe, Chris Paul, Faith Hill, and Tim McGraw. Join the conversation by talking to friends, family, and neighbors about the importance of their voice and their vote. Because When We All Vote, we can change the world.

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FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
September 18, 2018

Faith Hill To Headline When We All Vote National Week of Action Event in Nashville & Updates on Other Events

WASHINGTON, DC — Today, When We All Vote announced that Co-Chair Faith Hill will headline a Week of Action event Monday, September 24 at Marathon Music Works in Nashville, TN. The National Week of Action takes place September 22 – 29th when communities across the country, through the help and support of volunteers, will host voter registration events throughout the week in cities large and small.

“When we all vote we make a difference,” said Hill. “A difference that can be felt all the way from Tennessee to the nation’s capital, and everywhere in between.”

Today When We All Vote also announced that Mrs. Obama’s Week of Action events will be held at Chaparral High School in Las Vegas, NV (Sept. 23) and at the Watsco Center at the University of Miami (Sept. 28).

Mrs. Obama announced When We All Vote’s National Week of Action in a video message urging Americans to sign up to volunteer and host events. Last week, we announced that Co-Chair’s Chris Paul and Tom Hanks will headline Week of Action events in Houston and Pittsburgh, respectively. Keegan-Michael Key and Loni Love are set to return to their hometown to headline the Detroit event and Shonda Rhimes will lead the Los Angeles rally in partnership with L.A. Promise Fund’s Girls Build Summit which will bring together 10,000 young women from across LA County.

DETAILS:

People can sign up to attend Faith’s event and all other Week of Action events HERE:
https://dev-when-we-vote.pantheonsite.io/events/

When We All Vote Rally with. Michelle Obama – Las Vegas, NV
Sunday, Sept 23 // 4-6pm PT
Chaparral High School
3850 Annie Oakley Dr, Las Vegas, NV 89121
PRESS RSVP

When We All Vote Rally with Faith Hill – Nashville, TN
Monday, Sept. 24 //  5-8pm CT
Marathon Music Works
1402 Clinton St, Nashville, TN 37203
PRESS RSVP

When We All Vote Rally with Michelle Obama – Miami, FL
Friday, Sept 28 // 4-6pm ET
Watsco Center, University of Miami
1245 Dauer Dr, Coral Gables, FL 33146
PRESS RSVP

ABOUT When We All Vote:
When We All Vote—a new national, nonpartisan not-for-profit—brings together citizens, institutions, and organizations to spark a conversation about our rights and responsibilities in shaping our democracy. Namely, the responsibility of registering and voting.

When We All Vote’s Co-Chairs are some of America’s most trusted voices, including Michelle Obama, Tom Hanks, Lin-Manuel Miranda, Janelle Monáe, Chris Paul, Faith Hill, and Tim McGraw. Join the conversation by talking to friends, family, and neighbors about the importance of their voice and their vote. Because When We All Vote, we can change the world. For more information on When We All Vote, Please visit: When We All Vote

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For more information contact: [email protected]

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
September 12, 2018

When We All Vote Announces Co-Chairs Tom Hanks and Chris Paul to Headline Week of Action Events in Pittsburgh and Houston
Keegan-Michael Key, Loni Love, Shonda Rhimes Headline Events in Detroit and Los Angeles
Jim Rooney, James Conner of the Pittsburgh Steelers to Join Co-Chair Tom Hanks Event

WASHINGTON, DC — Today, When We All Vote announced that Co-Chair’s Chris Paul and Tom Hanks will headline Week of Action events in Houston and Pittsburgh respectively. The Week of Action takes place September 22 – 29th.

Keegan-Michael Key and Loni Love are set to return to their hometown to headline our Detroit event. Shonda Rhimes will lead the Los Angeles rally in partnership with L.A. Promise Fund’s Girls Build Summit which will bring together 10,000 young women from across LA County.

“Voting is a small act that proves that we are a democracy— a government of the people and by the people,” said Hanks. “It’s up to each and every one of us to make sure our government doesn’t just represent a small some—not just the most powerful—but all of us. When we all vote, we are making strides toward a more perfect union.”

“Everyone’s vote matters and each vote represents a voice that needs to be heard,” said Paul. “Voting gives us the power to create real change and change doesn’t happen if we remain silent. We need your voice to be heard by voting.”

Pittsburgh Steelers running back James Conner, team executive Jim Rooney, and Kiya Tomlin, wife of head coach Mike Tomlin, will join When We All Vote Co-Chair Tom Hanks in Pittsburgh.

Last week, When We All Vote announced that Co-Chair Michelle Obama will host events in Las Vegas and Miami and Co-Chair Janelle Monae will host our Week of Action rally in Atlanta. Mrs. Obama announced When We All Vote’s National Week of Action in a video message urging Americans to sign up to volunteer and host events around the country to register voters, get people engaged and ready to vote in the midterm elections and beyond.

These events join a growing list of flagship events across the nation. Details on locations and ticketing are forthcoming.

People can sign up to attend the events below:

When We All Vote Event with Chris Paul – Houston
Saturday, September 22
RSVP: weall.vote/houston

When We All Vote Rally with Tom Hanks, Jim Rooney, James Conner & Kiya Tomlin – Pittsburgh
Tuesday, September 25
RSVP: weall.vote/pittsburgh

When We All Vote Rally with Loni Love and Keegan-Michael Key – Detroit
Thursday, September 27
RSVP: weall.vote/Detroit

When We All Vote Rally with Shonda Rhimes & L.A. Promise Fund – Los Angeles
Friday, September 28
RSVP: weall.vote/LA

SOME FLAGSHIP CITIES INCLUDE:

Detroit, MI
Los Angeles, CA
Baltimore, MD
Miami, FL
Atlanta, GA
Las Vegas, NV
New York, NY
Pittsburgh, PA
Nashville, TN
Houston, TX

ABOUT When We All Vote:

When We All Vote—a new national, nonpartisan not-for-profit—brings together citizens, institutions, and organizations to spark a conversation about our rights and responsibilities in shaping our democracy. Namely, the responsibility of registering and voting.

When We All Vote’s Co-Chairs are some of America’s most trusted voices, including Michelle Obama, Tom Hanks, Lin-Manuel Miranda, Janelle Monáe, Chris Paul, Faith Hill, and Tim McGraw. Join the conversation by talking to friends, family, and neighbors about the importance of their voice and their vote. Because When We All Vote, we can change the world. For more information on When We All Vote, please visit: www.whenweallvote.org.

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FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
September 5, 2018

Michelle Obama to Host When We All Vote Rallies in Miami and Las Vegas During the National Week of Action
Co-Chair Janelle Monae Will Also Headline Event in Atlanta

When We All Vote Co-Chair Michelle Obama will host events in Las Vegas on September 23rd and Miami on September 28th. In August, Mrs. Obama announced When We All Vote’s National Week of Action in a video message urging Americans to sign up to volunteer and host events around the country to register voters and get people engaged and prepared to vote in the midterm elections and beyond.

This evening, Mrs. Obama will moderate a special volunteer call asking participants to host an event during the Week of Action. When We All Vote is teaming up with thousands of community leaders, colleges and universities, artists, athletes, and influencers to help organize, sign up volunteers and host events in communities across the country.

As Mrs. Obama said when she launched When We All Vote: “Voting is the only way to ensure that our values and priorities are represented in the halls of power. And it’s not enough to just vote for president every four years. We all have to vote in every single election: for mayor, governor, school board, state legislature and Congress. The leaders we elect to these offices help determine just about every aspect of our lives and our democracy. So the future of our families, our communities and our country belongs to those of us who show up, cast our votes, and make our voices heard.”

Co-Chair Janelle Monae will also host When We All Vote’s Atlanta event held in the heart of the Atlanta University Center at Spelman College.

These are just three of the flagship events that will be held in cities across the nation taking place during the Week of Action. Details on locations, ticketing and remaining flagship events, are forthcoming.

People can sign up to attend Michelle Obama’s events below:

When We All Vote Rally with. Michelle Obama – Las Vegas
Sunday, September 23
RSVP HERE

When We All Vote Rally with. Janelle Monae – Atlanta
Thursday, September 27
This event is open to students, faculty and guests of the Atlanta University Center
(Morehouse College, Spelman College and Clark Atlanta University)

When We All Vote Rally with Michelle Obama – Miami
Friday, September 28
RSVP HERE

Watch Mrs. Obama’s Week of Action Announcement Here: https://youtu.be/_hFZ653SXxc

There will be flagship events across the country and the campaign is calling on people across the country to host events in their communities throughout the week. Starting today, people can sign up online to attend a flagship event and download the When We All Vote toolkit with instructions on how to plan their community events and register voters. Mrs. Obama and the other “When We All Vote” Co-Chairs will attend and or support some of the events on the ground. More details on the Co-Chairs and Ambassadors participation will be announced in the comings weeks.

SOME FLAGSHIP CITIES INCLUDE:

Detroit, MI
Miami, FL
Atlanta, GA
Las Vegas, NV
Nashville, TN
Los Angeles, CA
New York, NY
Pittsburgh, PA

ABOUT When We All Vote:

When We All Vote—a new national, nonpartisan not-for-profit—brings together citizens, institutions, and organizations to spark a conversation about our rights and responsibilities in shaping our democracy. Namely, the responsibility of registering and voting.

When We All Vote’s Co-Chairs are some of America’s most trusted voices, including Michelle Obama, Tom Hanks, Lin-Manuel Miranda, Janelle Monáe, Chris Paul, Faith Hill, and Tim McGraw. Join the conversation by talking to friends, family, and neighbors about the importance of their voice and their vote. Because When We All Vote, we can change the world. For more information on When We All Vote, Please visit: When We All Vote

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FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
August 6, 2018

Mrs. Obama Celebrates the Anniversary of the Voting Rights Act By Encouraging Americans to Join When We All Vote’s Week Of Action

Watch Mrs. Obama’s Announcement Here: https://youtu.be/_hFZ653SXxc

WASHINGTON, DC — Today, in celebration of the anniversary of the signing of the Voting Rights Act, “When We All Vote” announced the “When We All Vote” Week of Action.

From September 22 to September 29, the team will crisscross the country to speak with and register voters, get folks fired up, and ready to vote in the midterm elections and beyond.

There will be flagship events across the country and the campaign is calling on people across the country to host events in their communities throughout the week. Starting today, people can sign up online to attend a flagship event and download the When We All Vote toolkit with instructions on how to plan their community events and register voters.

Mrs. Obama and the other “When We All Vote” Co-Chairs will attend and or support some of the events on the ground.

More details on the Co-Chairs and Ambassadors participation will be announced in the comings weeks.

SOME FLAGSHIP CITIES INCLUDE:
Detroit, MI
Los Angeles, CA
Baltimore, MD
Miami, FL
Atlanta, GA
Chicago, IL
Las Vegas, NV
New York, NY
Pittsburgh, PA
Nashville, TN
Houston, TX
Milwaukee, WI

About When We All Vote:
When We All Vote—a new national, nonpartisan not-for-profit—brings together citizens, institutions, and organizations to spark a conversation about our rights and responsibilities in shaping our democracy. Namely, the responsibility of registering and voting.

When We All Vote’s Co-Chairs are some of America’s most trusted voices, including Michelle Obama, Tom Hanks, Lin-Manuel Miranda, Janelle Monáe, Chris Paul, Faith Hill, and Tim McGraw. Join the conversation by talking to friends, family, and neighbors about the importance of their voice and their vote. Because When We All Vote, we can change the world. For more information on When We All Vote, Please visit: When We All Vote

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FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
July 19, 2018

When We All Vote Launches National Voter Registration & Participation Initiative

Campaign Co-Chairs Include Michelle Obama, Tom Hanks, Lin-Manuel Miranda, Janelle Monáe, Chris Paul, Faith Hill, & Tim McGraw

WASHINGTON, D.C.—When We All Vote—a new, nonpartisan, not-for-profit—was created recognizing three critical facts about electoral participation in our country:

  1. Our registration rates are low: In 2014, more than 1/5th (21.4 percent) of all American citizens who were eligible to register to vote were not registered. (The Pew Charitable Trusts, June 2017)
  2. Our participation rates, especially in midterm elections, are also low: In 2014, just a little over a third (36.4 percent) of eligible citizens voted, the lowest participation rate in midterms since World War II. (PBS, November 2014)
  3. Eligible unregistered voters are not asked to register or lack information about the registration process: According to a Pew 2017 study, more than 60 percent of adult citizens have never been asked to register to vote and a majority of adults say they never had an opportunity to register. (The Pew Charitable Trusts, June 2017)

These numbers and the reasons behind them should alarm every American. No one organization can dramatically change those numbers alone. But every citizen can be part of the solution—and that’s why When We All Vote is calling on Americans to take responsibility and start a conversation by asking friends, family, and those in their own communities to register, and to show them how easy and important it is to vote in every race—from the school board, to the statehouse, to Congress, and the Presidency.

When We All Vote is a national organization that will—online and in-person—reach into all 50 states to help people register and to vote. It aims to recruit American citizens, institutions, companies, and organizations to work in their communities to increase voter registration and participation. When We All Vote’s Co-Chairs are some of America’s most trusted voices, including Michelle Obama, Tom Hanks, Lin-Manuel Miranda, Janelle Monáe, Chris Paul, Faith Hill, and Tim McGraw.

Launched today, When We All Vote will start a conversation on the responsibilities that we all have in shaping our country’s future through the ballot box. When We All Vote will also:

Recruit, Train, & Mobilize Volunteers

  1. Recruit volunteers to self-organize across the country to encourage people to register in their own communities.
  2. Provide training to volunteers on how they can best help their families and friends register themselves to vote.
  3. Share tools for volunteers to serve as ambassadors to encourage election participation.
  4. Promote offline organizing opportunities in their communities.

Make it Easy to Register Yourself to Vote

  1. Ask all eligible Americans to register and participate in the initiative.
  2. Through extensive social media and digital outreach, in partnership with Rock the Vote, provide people an easy-to-use website for people to register or request a registration form online.
  3. Provide potential new registrants information that removes barriers to the registration and voting process.

Spark Conversation & Promote Activity Around Increased Participation

  1. Ask citizens, national and community organizations, and the business community to assist in helping people in their communities register and vote.
  2. Ask volunteers to host voter registration events.
  3. Organize weekly online and offline efforts that speak to various communities across America. Organize a national week of action in September to promote registration and
    participation in communities and cities across America.

When We All Vote is also partnering with and calling on corporate, educational, and civic institutions to be a part of the solution in fundamentally increasing voter participation in the United States.

When We All Vote aims to create a culture where Americans want to and are expected to vote. And to turn research that shows that the main reason people don’t vote is because they think their vote doesn’t matter on its head. To learn more and sign up, go to WhenWeAllVote.org.

Statements from When We All Vote Co-Chairs:
Michelle Obama, Former First Lady of the United States “Voting is the only way to ensure that our values and priorities are represented in the halls of power. And it’s not enough to just vote for president every four years. We all have to vote in every single election: for mayor, governor, school board, state legislature and Congress. The leaders we elect to these offices help determine just about every aspect of our lives and our democracy. So the future of our families, our communities and our country belongs to those of us who show up, cast our votes, and make our voices heard.”

Tom Hanks, Actor and Filmmaker “Voting is a small act that proves that we are a democracy— a government of the people and by the people. It’s up to each and every one of us to make sure our government doesn’t just represent a small some—not just the most powerful—but all of us. When we all vote, we are making strides toward a more perfect union.”

Lin-Manuel Miranda, Composer, Lyricist, Playwright, and Actor “When each and every one of us votes, we make sure our government represents all of us. When we all vote, we are making strides toward a more perfect union. When we all vote, those who we elect pay attention.”

Janelle Monáe, Singer-songwriter, and Actress “It’s gonna be our generation that corrects the mistakes of our past and creates a more inclusive future that works for us all. As voters, we are the ones that hold the power to make this dream a reality.”

Chris Paul, NBA player for the Houston Rockets “Everyone’s vote matters and each vote represents a voice that needs to be heard. Voting gives us the power to create real change and change doesn’t happen if we remain silent. We need your voice to be heard by voting.”

Faith Hill, Singer and producer “When we all vote we make a difference. A difference that can be felt all the way from Tennessee to the nation’s capital, and everywhere in between. Don’t miss out on the opportunity to make your voice heard.”

Tim McGraw, Singer and actor “We make a difference in every single step along the path of our democracy. That first step begins when you register to vote. Then when you cast your ballot, you are standing up for what’s important to you. It’s up to all of us.”

About When We All Vote
When We All Vote—a new national, nonpartisan not-for-profit—promises to bring together all willing citizens, organizations and institutions across America to spark a new conversation around the responsibilities we all share in shaping the promise of our democracy. Namely, the responsibility of registering and voting.

When We All Vote’s Co-Chairs are some of America’s most trusted voices, including Michelle Obama, Tom Hanks, Lin-Manuel Miranda, Janelle Monáe, Chris Paul, Faith Hill, and Tim McGraw. Because When We All Vote, we change the world. For up-to-date information, visit WhenWeAllVote.org and follow on Twitter, Facebook, and Instagram.

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