Interview with Carmen Murray, Chair, YOUth Decide
Interviewer: We know you’ve been very busy this year with students including inviting the students to rename their project. What name did they choose and why?
CM: We went through a long list of names and settled, unanimously, on YOUth Decide, VOTE your future. However, we don’t really know who put the name forward.
Interviewer: While some of us know your volunteer group for producing civic and voter education materials for teachers, tell us about the very exciting new work you’ve been doing this year?
CM: Yes. We’re actually working on five new fronts.
Two interns from Bishop O’Dowd assisted with a 9th grade civics presentations at Fremont High School in East Oakland last winter and fall, where students learned about the importance of voting locally. We will make two more presentations to this class next week, and a brand new intern will join us.
Our YOUth Decide leaders are sponsoring a Voter Registration Drive later this month at Bishop O’Dowd High School during the lunch hour to register and preregister 16-18 year olds.
Recently five students at Oakland Tech High School contacted us asking the League for support in organizing a Voter Registration drive during their lunch hour. Actually started as a project for an art class, this experience shows that we can work civics education into any area!
This effort was very successful as the volunteers got 33 students to go to the Secretary of State site to register to vote online. The League was there with support for the two students who didn’t have an ID and had to fill out a paper affidavit.
These fabulous young women may become interns (they are 15 - 16 years old), but for sure we’re looking forward to more voter registration drives at Oakland Tech next fall!
Finally--and taking us into exciting new territory--the League created new paid social media internships. Students use their own research and creativity to post about League issues on social media. They had been posting, but now they get help developing their communications skills through supervision from our professional Communications Lead volunteer and our new paid consultant. It’s a win-win and we hope the experience is providing valuable skills for the future of each intern.
Interviewer: How can students and teachers be in touch with you if they want to get involved?
CM: Visit our new website www.lwvoakland.org and use the Contact Us page.