Posts tagged with "Political activism"

Female activists launch Supermajority

May 1, 2019

Three powerful leaders have launched a new national organization—Supermajority— that they hope will drive the political activism, training, and mobilization of the women from all walks of life who comprise 51% of the U.S. population.

The founders of the multiracial, intergenerational movement are Cecile Richards, the architect of Planned Parenthood Action Fund; Alicia Garza, co-founder of Black Lives Matter Global Network and principal of Black Futures Lab; and Ai-jen Poo, executive director of the National Domestic Workers Alliance.

According to a press release from the new group dated April 29, “Supermajority … will build women’s power across the country and drive change around the issues that matter to women, and Supermajority Education Fund, which will invest in research and education to understand and amplify the civic engagement and the role of women in communities across the country.”

They intend to fight for gender equality on a slate of issues, from unequal pay, to staggering child care costs, rising maternal mortality, lack of family leave, and a government that continues to fail women.

More women today are taking action than ever before, and Supermajority intends to consolidate their strength. Indeed, according to findings of  a Washington Post-Kaiser Family Foundation Survey Project, 20% of Americans have marched or protested since 2016 and the biggest issue driving these actions is support for women’s rights.

In 2018, women made up 54% of the electorate, creating a historic 23-point gender gap and propelling a record number of women into office. 

“We’ve seen an avalanche of women’s activism over the last two years in every part of the country. But women want to do more than resist. They want to drive change around the issues that impact their lives,” said Cecile Richards, former president of Planned Parenthood. “Now is the time to come together and organize around a ‘new deal’ for women, elevating our issues to the forefront of the national debate in 2019, 2020, and beyond. It’s time we demand equity.”

“Women have always done the work, the invisible work that makes everything else possible. As organizers, we’ve all been working to unite women and make progress on the issues women care about – from low wages to sexual violence. We are tired of those issues being sidelined,” said Ai-jen Poo.”We believe that, if we connect women and aggregate our power, we can change the direction of this country.”

Over the last year, Supermajority Education Fund leaders traveled the country listening to women and learning about why they have become activated in their communities and how to sustain this energy.  Among their findings are the following:

  • Staying home isn’t an option. Women are doing a lot to drive change, and they want to do even more but aren’t always sure how.
  • Civic participation is intimidating. Without institutional support or guidance, getting and staying involved as a citizen, voter, or advocate is daunting—particularly for newly activated women.
  • Women want to do more than resist. They want to use their activism to solve real problems.
  • Women want to be in community with one another. They want to come together across race, generations, income, geography, and more to learn from and support one another and build their collective engagement.

“The future will be decided by women,” said Alicia Garza. “Supermajority will be a community that aggregates the power of women across movements, bringing us together and taking action with shared purpose. When we reach for each other and move forward together, we can move millions.”

Supermajority plans to educate, train, and mobilize 2 million women nationwide, who will then help activate millions more women in their communities to make sure women’s voices are heard and a women’s agenda is represented in the policy debates, in legislative fights, and at the ballot box in 2020 and beyond.

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Young activists create a new ‘generation gap’

March 27, 2018

“Never trust anyone over the age of 30.” That famous quote—attributed variously to Bob Dylan, Abbie Hoffman, Jerry Rubin and The Beatles—epitomized the attitude of the alienated Baby Boomer generation in the 1960s. Now, their mantle has been taken up by today’s young Americans, ages 18 to 29, who proclaimed on March 24 at their March for Our Lives demonstrations nationwide that their generation would change the world .

Like the Boomers before them, they are sparking controversy and driving action—as well as creating a new “generation gap”—based on answers of 2,206 U.S. residents to a CBS News poll, conducted by YouGov  and released on March 25.

The researchers determined that many Americans—in particular, the vast majority of older conservatives—say they look at the younger generation and feel pessimistic about the country’s future. Meanwhile Americans under 30 look at the older generation with the attitude that their elders will leave the country in worse shape than they found it.

Asked if there is a generation gap today, 81% of respondents polled said yes, while 19% said no. Of those ages 18 to 24, 89% said yes and 11% said no. Of those ages 25 to 29, 82% said yes and 18% said no. Of those ages 30 to 50, 79% said yes and 21% said no. And of those over age 50, 80% said yes and 20% said no.

However, by nearly a two-to-one margin, Americans are more supportive than opposed to the young people taking part in marches and speaking out on guns and safety. In general, Americans of all ages say young people organizing is healthy for democracy.

And they believe in themselves: Among Americans ages 18 to 29, 51% say their generation can change the world; 38% say they already are changing the world; and 11% said they can’t change the world.

Why are young people marching? Just over 50% of Americans say it’s just about gun policy, while nearly as many say it’s also about having more of a say in politics.

And most Americans—across all ages and the partisan spectrum—think mass shootings are something that can be prevented. Just 25% say they are something we just have to accept as part of living in a free society.

In total, 73% of those questioned think such shootings can be prevented, while 27% of respondents say they have to accept such events.

Among Republicans, 64% say they can be prevented and 36% say they have to be accepted. Among Democrats, 85% say they can be prevented and 15% say they must be accepted. And among Independents, 72% percent say they can be prevented and 28% say they have to be accepted.

Research contact: @caitlinconant