When We All Vote Co-Chair Michelle Obama Announces New Initiative for Educators

Washington, DC: Today When We All Vote launched a new initiative calling on educators across the country to engage and register their students to vote. Co-ChairMichelle Obama shared a special message with educators all over the country.

 
BACKGROUND:
There are over 3.5 million young people in the upcoming school year who will be eligible to vote in the November 2020 elections. That is why When We All Vote launched a new initiative along with our partners, National Education Association, American Federation of Teachers, The League of Women Voters, Inspire-US, YMCA Youth and Government programs and Rock the Vote to empower educators in supporting the next generation of citizens to register and vote in every election.

 Co-Chair Michelle Obama shared a video message with those attending the National Education Association and the American Federation of Teachers. “In November, our country saw historic voter turnout and that’s progress we should celebrate. But even then….the portion of people who turned out to vote was still far too low—only one in three of our youngest voters cast a ballot ” said Mrs. Obama. “Obviously, we shouldn’t be telling them how to vote or who to vote for… we just want them to vote, period—to take that first step toward making voting a lifelong habit.”

 This is a call to action for educators across the country – teachers of all subjects, counselors, librarians, administrators, all school staff – to join in the effort to engage and register our young people to vote. When We All Vote, a non-partisan organization and its partners will support educators with tool-kits that include lesson plans to guide conversation around civic education and voter registration, provide webinar and in-person trainings, and host ongoing activities and events throughout the school year to continue driving this important work.

 This is the first program launched by the When We All Vote in 2019. More details are forthcoming. The full transcript is included below.


FULL TRANSCRIPT:
Hello everybody! I just want to thank you for all the hard work you do, day in and day out, to educate our next generation of scientists, artists, and entrepreneurs.

 But no matter what career your students pursue in the years ahead, they’re certain to be our next generation of citizens who will shape the course of our communities and our country… and that’s what I want to talk with you about today.

 Last year, I launched When We All Vote, a nonpartisan get-out-the-vote effort, to help make sure everyone makes their voice heard, loud and clear, in our elections.

In November, our country saw historic voter turnout… and that’s progress we should celebrate.

But even then… even in a record-breaking election, the portion of people who turned out to vote was still far too low—only one in three of our youngest voters cast a ballot.

That means two-thirds of these young people aren’t showing up.

Maybe they don’t think they understand the issues well enough… maybe they don’t see how their vote will make a difference… or maybe they just don’t think their voices matter.

Whatever the reason, it’s up to us to flip that script—to show young people how crucial their voices are… and how just a few votes can be decisive on issues that matter to them and their community.

Obviously, we shouldn’t be telling them how to vote or who to vote for… we just want them to vote, period—to take that first step toward making voting a lifelong habit.

So I’m asking you to join me in helping make sure every eligible student is registered and ready to vote when the time comes.

When We All Vote is here to help you do just that—and we want to help you make your school a voter-registration hub for your entire community.

We’ll provide the tools, training, support, and connections to make the efforts at your school a success… because we believe registering to vote should be as timeless as homecoming dances or Friday night lights.

 Just text “NEA” to “84693” to sign up and learn more about how you can help your students get registered.

I hope you’ll join us… because this is bigger than one party or one election—it’s about empowering the next generation to make their mark on our future.

So thank you again for everything you do every day—I know that you all don’t hear that often enough.

Have a great conference, everybody.

Just text “TEACH” to “21333” to sign up and learn more about how you can help your students get registered.

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.