The Movement Gets Moving

November 14, 2008

On Wednesday and Thursday Novemember 12 and 13, 2008, member organizations at the Generational Alliance Youth Policy Summit gathered in Oakland to strategize and plan grassroots as well as federal legislative action for the coming months and years. With a special focus on the first 100 days of the Obama presidency, various groups brainstromed and held breakout sessions to come up with winnable goals and a clear pathway to continue to bring change and empowerment to the nation's youth.

Representing all aspects of the youth movement, attending organizations included voting groups The League, Youth Voter Collective and Bus Federation, Repro rights activists from Planned Parenthood and Asian Committee for Repro Justice, research and policy experts from Greenling Institute, Demos, Drum Major Institute, Roosevelt Institute, and many awesome field training and orgranizers including Campus Camp Wellstone, NAACP Youth and College, Geraration Change, Hip-Hop Caucus, Ruckus Society, United States Student Association, Young People For and Green For All.

The energy and ideas bustling in the room was inspiring. Gathered were the next generation of great activists and leaders, planning to seize the moment and implement real institutional change on behalf of young people everywhere.

After excellent "State of the Youth Movement" presentations by Center For Community Change's Rudy Lopez and PowerPAC's Jenn Pae, members broke in to working groups to set agendas for the rest of the gathering.

Later on Wednesday, Drum Major Institute, Roosevelt, Applied Research and Alliance For Justice gave trainings on crafting legislative policy and legal matters to help prepare participants for the inevitable challenges this work will bring.

On Thursday, Gen Alliance members dug into the real meat of the conference (or soy for us vegetarians): Planning to support and implement Affordable Health Care For All Now (HCAN), USSA's College Affordability legislation (including increasing the Federal Pell Grant and passing the DREAM Act) and launching the Clean Energy Corps movement with tangible actions.

Of course Wiretap represented with Jamilah, Tomas and Kristina attending and brainstorming with the Alliance. Expect further updates, blogs, videos and more resulting from this gathering.

Unitil then — this is our moment! Do something real, focused and concrete to make change in our communities last.


Tomas Palermo is the managing editor of WireTap.


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