One important way to educate and influence the policymakers who make decisions about why, where and when youth are incarcerated and how valuable resources are allocated is by getting involved in your local and state elections. Governors, state legislators, county commissioners, district attorneys, and mayors all make decisions about their communities and how your tax dollars are spent. They need to hear from you and you need to tell everyone you know who cares about youth justice the importance of registering to vote and voting on Election Day.
The purpose of the Your Vote is Your Voice toolkit is to provide you with the information you need to engage in the political process; to make sure those seeking political power in your state understand the issues facing youth involved in the juvenile justice system and stand ready to work with young people and families if elected.
The toolkit is available here: YF Electoral Toolkit 2017 Version
Social media graphics to promote the toolkit are available here.
The toolkit provides:
- Information about what rules apply to organizations and campaigns that want to engage in electoral advocacy
- Information about how to engage candidates on the issues around youth incarceration and community reinvestment
- Tips on getting involved in voter registration and Get Out the Vote (GOTV) activities
Building a voting block of constituents who share your commitment to a fairer, more effective justice system that helps young people and families and improves community safety helps build political power for your issue.
And, establishing relationships with future elected officials and holding them accountable once they are in office can be an important first step in any campaign to change the policies that impact young people and their families.
Together we can make a difference!