By Zander Kurita ’22
With fewer than 100 days to the general election on November 3, we have entered the final push to bring lasting change to our government and country. Political groups at respective schools such as Young Democrats do great work, but some lack a larger following that can bring greater levels of involvement and commitment. The Youth Progressive Action League (YPAL) is a student-led organization that aims to create a large community of high school students who are deeply dedicated to change by supporting Democratic candidates across the country.
YPAL’s goal is not only to get people involved with Democratic campaigns but also to meet people who have similar interests and discuss prevalent issues that we see in these campaigns. Building a community of people who are passionate about making a difference and are willing to question their beliefs is at the heart of the YPAL mission. With enough members, YPAL can give those not yet able to vote an incredible opportunity to make their voices heard.
The 2020 election is an unprecedented one because of the all-consuming nature of COVID-19. Campaigns are having to adapt and transform their campaigns to function in a virtual world. Door-to-door campaigning and other aspects of traditional campaigns are no longer possible. Major parts of campaigns that require in-person participation cannot be done by students out-of-state, so the elimination of those aspects levels the playing field. 2020 is a unique election year for volunteers from out-of-state, as they can have just as powerful a voice as people in-state.
In addition to the organization aspect of YPAL, there is also the informing side. Recently, the group’s Instagram featured posts entitled “How to Phonebank for Joe Biden and Kamala Harris.” These posts provided step by step instructions from Joe Biden’s website to encourage students to start to make calls, by walking participants through the process of phone banking, as well as giving them tips on how to use different phone banking platforms.
YPAL believes that the stakes of the 2020 election cannot be understated; urgent issues such as climate change, the economy, healthcare, and discrimination accentuate its gravity. In order to meet these challenges, we need bold, progressive leadership in Washington. That starts with maintaining control of the House, winning back the Senate, and evicting Donald Trump from the White House. It’s time for high school students like us to roll up our sleeves and get to work helping Democratic candidates. It’s time for our country’s future leaders to push for a more just and equitable America. It’s time to win.
New members are always welcome; the more people making calls and sending texts the better! For more information on how to get involved contact: firstname.lastname@example.org, and follow YPAL on Instagram @ypal_2020.