Apr 22, 2004
Next Generation Democratic Summit
From Pelosi’s release:
Pelosi and WWE wrestlers Chris Nowinski and Victoria opened the first ever “Youth Activism Town Hall” at the Summit. The Town Hall, moderated by MTV News correspondent Gideon Yago, provided the students and young leaders an opportunity to voice their concerns directly to Members of Congress and gave the Members a chance to hear directly from young leaders. The students and young leaders raised issues including higher education, the economy, Iraq, and national security.
The Members of Congress also listened to a panel discussion with Jean-Marie Lawson, a young businessperson from Kentucky, and Andrew Gillum, a Tallahassee City Commissioner, on how they became involved in public service, and how they encourage other young people to get involved.
“Young people are an enormous voting block, but they do not vote in numbers equal to their power,” Pelosi told the students and young leaders. “Only 64 percent of Americans ages 18 - 30 are registered to vote, and only 42 percent actually voted in 2000. Together, we can change these statistics. But we need your help to mobilize youth to vote. By changing the statistics on who votes, we can change the direction of our country.”
We too were up in there, it was a pretty good show with a pretty solid looking class of future Dem leaders in attendance. Here’s Pelosi with Gideon Yago and Chris “Smackdown Your Vote” Nowinski:
Pelosi: “When You Understand your responsibility to this country, you understand your opportunity.”
Nowinski: “Last I heard Social Security will become insolvent in just the year I turn 65. Well…that’s just not really acceptable to me.”
And here’s Linda Sanchez (CA-39), the youngest woman in Congress:
Sanchez: “The only way you’re going to engage your peers, your friends, is one-on-one.”
Stephanie Tubbs Jones (OH-11) also popped up:
“We have to be ready when Kerry comes to us. We cannot just wait for Kerry to come.”
The summit was meant just as an opening shot in our youth mobilization program. There’s no question it could make the difference, so stay tuned.