Here to bring you your monthly insight into the youth perspective is Courtney Martin with a post on how young people are getting involved in politics…by targeting their grandparents for the Obama vote. Courtney’s awesome column, Generation Next, appears the third Monday of every month. –Kristen
One of my favorite get out the vote efforts by youth this fall is, hands down, The Great Schlep. The young, civic-minded, and Jewish recognized that they had a profound power to influence a very special population in a very special swing state: grandparents in Florida. And thus the Great Schlep was born.
Hereâ€™s the always controversial Sarah Silverman on the basic concept:
There are a few things that I deeply admire about this project. First and foremost, I love that a bunch of young people took stock of the power they already possessed (being beloved by their well-intentioned, if not a bit conservative grandparents) and figured out a way to use that power for political leverage. This is the best of youth activism at workâ€”a homegrown, grassroots exercise of power in innovative ways.
I also appreciate that, while it springs from a place of cultural and religious identity, it serves a much broader cause. Jewish youth didnâ€™t wait until there was a fantastic Jewish candidate to start organizing, schlepping, and registering/influencing voters; they participated in a long, beautiful tradition of Jewish activists promoting the best interest of a â€œminorityâ€ and, in turn, their own vision of a more just society.
And finally, they used shocking humor and a sort of wonderful sarcasm about their own culture to get the word out. Some have found the racial implications offensive, which I totally understand. I happen to think itâ€™s pretty amazing social commentary. In any case, they got your attention didnâ€™t they?