The AWP is an advocacy group fighting for equal representation, participation and policy development for women and marginalized groups.
One of AWP’s main priorities in this mid-term election year is bringing awareness to voting rights and voter suppression. We’re launching a direct-action initiative called Step Up and Vote and would love to partner with the student body and leadership at your college/university. Our work for Step Up and Vote will largely center around working to increase local and national political awareness about voter suppression issues, driving voter registration efforts among our youngest up-and-coming WOC/POC community and political leaders, and getting everyone ready to head to the polls for mid-terms and beyond.
We would love to share more information with you about Step Up and Vote, including our Campus Coordinator Internship Program (which you can see outlined below). In the meantime, please take a look at the below information regarding what's at stake on America's political landscape.
Does your school want to participate? Fill out the form above and our outreach coordinators will be in touch with you right away. We will announce all participating schools here later this summer along with your school's logo. Thank you.
Learn the step up routine
And add your own steps
IMPORTANT FACTS ABOUT VOTING RIGHTS
On Election Day 2016, there were 868 fewer polling places in states like Arizona, Texas and North Carolina, all of which have a long history of voting discrimination; In states like Alabama, 31 state drivers license offices were shut down before the election even took place.
Wisconsin’s strict voter ID laws prevented approximately 200,000 citizens to cast their votes -- Trump won the state by only 22,748.
No less than 33% of the disabled community (1 in 6 eligible voters are disabled) are largely barred from being able to vote, either because due to their inability they're ineligible to obtain a driver's license -- the most affordable form of identification required in strict voter ID states -- or because voting sites do not cater to their needs at entrances and exits.
In 2016, the black voter turnout rate declined almost 10% for the first time in 20 years in a presidential election; this was the largest decline in voting on record for the Black community. Even more disturbing was the fact that 2016 was the first election year in 50 years without full protections of the Voting Rights Act.
New Voter ID laws require individuals to have a state-issued ID that matches the name on their voter registration cards. Approximately 34% of all women run the risk of being turned away at the polls due to name changes - more than half of the women affected are women of color.
American Women’s Party – Step Up and Vote
Student Leader (SL) Position Requirements
Recruit and Strategize
Gather a team of interested student participants (preferably sophomores and juniors) to take part in the initiative.
Figure out what support you’ll need from recruited students and what smaller teams/task groups you’ll need to create in order to achieve ultimate goals. Delegate responsibilities as needed. Examples include: Voter registration team, Step team, etc.
Rally and Organize
Organize and manage students in task groups to ensure they are effectively educating the community on their voting rights and rallying the people to get out and vote.
This will include registering people to vote, passing out tote bags (provided by AWP) specific to each state that will include all the voting info the community needs to know. Addition outreach may include reminding the community to vote with postcards (again, provided by AWP), phone calls, canvassing, etc.
The SL will be the main point person to delegate roles, engage students around the above-mentioned tasks and ensure the tasks are getting done as effectively as possible.
Either SL or SL-assigned Step Coach will put together a group of interested students (it can be the same group or they can recruit separately for the step portion of the initiative) who will learn and perform the pre-choreographed step routine. This person will learn and teach the step to the step team and will set up rehearsals to ensure the step looks as clean, polished and powerful as possible to attract the attention of potential voters and inspire them to get out to the polls.
Communicate and work with appropriate on-campus directors (e.g. Dir. Student Life/Activities) to find out where (on- and/or off-campus) and when is the best time to organize a performance of the step routine. Ideally it would happen just before the November 6 midterm election at a school wide event. Tighten all logistical details to make sure presentation runs smoothly.
SL should maintain contact with their on-campus leadership in the office of Student Life/Activities, as well as AWP Step Up and Vote coordinators (Arin Lawrence or Megan Kip) to communicate progress or request for assistance with any unforeseen roadblocks.
Once Step Up and Vote Initiative is complete, SL will draft a brief report on how the experience went, focusing on positive experiences as well as suggestions on what could have been different.