Editor's Note: There are a mere 75 days until voters nationwide will descend upon the polls to elect officials to some of the top offices in the country. This election year has been unlike any other in recent years past, and the critical issues that affect everyday citizens - like the economy, healthcare, and civil rights - matter more than ever.
AllHipHop.com is committed to helping convene the Hip-Hop generation at the polls. All this week, join us to learn about some of the ways OUR CULTURE is stepping up big to ensure the right to vote.
(AllHipHop News) The League of Young Voters Education Fund recently announced a voter education campaign entitled Vote4Urself. The campaign will utilize the influence of Hip-Hop artists Paul Wall and Dee-1, along with MTV Hip-Hop POV host Devi Dev and XXL Magazine editor-at-large Shaheem Reid with the goal of registering 50,000 young voters before the 2012 election.
The collective will use their industry reach and social networks to encourage fans to register to vote, using mobile technology developed by the League of Young Voters and TurboVote. Thanks to the League of Young Voters, young people nationwide can register to vote from a smartphone and get crucial text message reminders of election deadlines and polling locations. By texting Vote4Urself to 69866, participants can also sign up to receive updates and exclusive content.
“The game has changed,” said Biko Baker, Executive Director of the League of Young Voters, noting the way technology has innovated the ways that people can engage.
“In 2008, traditional field tactics could get you all the way to the finish line. Now, if you're not blowing up on Facebook and Twitter, you aren't taken seriously. Paul Wall, Devi Dev, Dee-1, and Shaheem Reid’s influence, combined with our best practices in organizing, will help us reach thousands of young voters and give them a reason to stay involved in a critical election year,” Baker added.
After voting for the first time in 2008, rapper Paul Wall said, “We owe it to the people before us who fought and died for the right to vote. People complain about our laws, but won't even vote to make a change. We can't let other voters choose our leaders. WE have to choose.”
Added Devi Dev, “Voting is one of the single most powerful things we can do as Americans. I am so excited to be involved with The League and TurboVote this election season, because they are making it easy to be powerful. Just a few quick clicks of a button and we have the chance to change the future.”
Rapper Dee-1 is known in rap circles for his conscious lyrics and efforts, and he explained his reason for getting involved: “I'm a rapper, true,” Dee-1 says, “but I'm also a leader. I'm making sure my generation understands the importance of being socially responsible and making wise decisions that will better our future. As leaders, we can't just talk it, we must walk it.”
VIDEO: Dee-1's "Vote4Urself" Promo - His Promise to Help Register 50,000 Young Voters
Cultural Hip-Hop ambassador and XXL Magazine Editor-at-Large Shaheem Reid is on board for the cause, too, along with Pittsburgh Hip-Hop artist and activist Jasiri X, whose song “Free the Jena Six” was named Hip-Hop Political Song of the Year in 2007.
Campaign sponsors encourage young people to register to vote now. Find out how and follow your favorite celebrity’s progress at Vote4Urself.org.
About the League of Young Voters Education Fund: LYVEF empowers young people nationwide to participate in the democratic process and create progressive political change on the local, state and national level – with a focus on non-college youth and youth from low-income communities and communities of color. The League meets young people where they are, works on issues that affect their lives, and provides them with tools, training and support to become serious catalysts for change. For more information, visit YoungVoter.org.