Empowering Youth Voices with The Journey Towards Political Change

In the corridors of state legislatures and the chambers of Congress, critical issues facing young people often go unaddressed, underscoring the need for greater representation of youth in government at all levels. As we gear up to unveil our next round of endorsements, following the introduction of six remarkable candidates just weeks ago, the urgency to ensure their success in the upcoming November elections becomes increasingly palpable.

However, amidst our preparations for the future, a recent decision by the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit has sent shockwaves through our movement. The ruling, which unjustly granted the writ of mandamus filed by Biden’s Department of Justice, directed Judge Ann Aiken to dismiss Juliana v. United States. This setback serves as a stark reminder of the pivotal role our courts play in shaping the trajectory of our democracy. As our founder Julia Olson aptly noted, the courts have historically served as catalysts for justice and equality, and the dismissal of Juliana v. United States underscores the imperative of preserving this cornerstone of our constitutional rights.

Yet, in the face of adversity, our resolve remains unwavering. Together, we will press on, steadfast in our pursuit of justice and equality for all. Each setback only fuels our determination to effect meaningful change and secure a safe and livable climate for future generations. As we navigate the complex landscape of our constitutional democracy, we must acknowledge the indispensable role played by all three branches of government in upholding our fundamental rights and values.

In Washington, D.C., our youth plaintiffs, along with hundreds of supporters, gathered for the My Voice. My Rights. Our Future. Rally to #SaveJuliana. The outpouring of solidarity from 98 coalition partners, 31 co-hosts, and 30 lawmakers who signed an amicus brief underscored the global significance of our cause. Nobel laureate economist Joseph Stiglitz lent his support to Juliana, further amplifying our message of climate justice. Despite the Ninth Circuit’s disappointing decision, our commitment to the fight for a livable climate remains resolute.

In a testament to our global impact, Kelly Matheson, deputy director of global climate litigation, and youth plaintiff Kalālapa from Hawai’i testified at the Inter-American Court of Human Rights, highlighting the urgent need for action on the climate crisis. Their impassioned plea underscored the critical role of international bodies in safeguarding human rights in the face of existential threats.

As Earth Month drew to a close, our community rallied together to unlock $40,000 in support of our mission to secure the right to a livable climate for all. The overwhelming response from our supporters, with over 169 donations received, exemplified the collective determination to effect positive change.

Meanwhile, the political landscape continues to evolve, with young leaders emerging as beacons of hope in the fight for progress. In a landmark victory, Molly Cook secured her position through a special election, marking a significant milestone in her campaign to reclaim abortion rights and enact common-sense firearm safety regulations.

Our focus now shifts to Anja Wookey-Huffman, a dedicated advocate running for Montana State House District 65. Anja’s deep-rooted commitment to her community, coupled with her firsthand understanding of the challenges facing young people today, positions her as a formidable force for change. As we throw our support behind Anja and our other endorsed candidates, we call upon our grassroots supporters to stand with us in our mission to create a more just and equitable society for all.

Across the country, from Pennsylvania to Georgia, our endorsed candidates are leading the charge for progress. From Anna Thomas’s tireless efforts to Bryce Berry’s unwavering commitment to public education, these young leaders embody the spirit of resilience and determination that defines our movement.

As we navigate the road ahead, let us draw inspiration from the indomitable spirit of those who came before us. Together, we can pave the way for a brighter future and usher in an era of meaningful change. With your continued support, we will not only defy the odds but reshape the very fabric of our democracy.

Luis Mata (TN HD-49 – Murfreesboro)
Luis Mata is a lifelong community advocate who is running for the state legislature to build a stronger Tennessee. Raised by a single mother who immigrated to Tennessee from Mexico, he learned the values of hard work, resilience, and unity. If elected, he’d be the first and only Latino state legislator in Tennessee.

Allie Phillips (TN HD-75 – Clarksville)
Allie Phillips is a mom and Tennessee native who is running for office to make much-needed change in her community and her state. When she was 19 weeks pregnant, she learned that her unborn daughter was not compatible with life. Because of her state’s draconian abortion ban, she was forced to travel 900 miles to terminate the pregnancy. She is fighting for reproductive freedom to make sure no one else has to experience the same traumatic situation she did.

Molly Cook (TX SD-15 – Houston)
Molly Cook is a Democrat, an ER nurse, and a community organizer running for the Texas Senate because she has seen too many of her patients suffer preventable harm as a direct result of bad policy. She already won a special election for this seat, but needs our support to win a runoff and the general election. If elected, she will be the youngest – and most progressive – member of the Texas Senate.

Nate Douglas (FL HD-37 – Orlando)
Nate Douglas is a climate organizer and policy researcher running for the Florida Legislature because he was raised by his first-generation American parents to believe in fairness and freedom – and he has seen too many freedoms being stripped away in his state, from book bans to attacks on abortion rights and the LGBTQ+ community. If he wins, he’ll be the youngest legislator in Florida.

Dante Pittman (NC HD-24 – Wilson)
Dante Pittman is a community leader whose family has called North Carolina home for generations. He is running for the state legislature to make life easier for folks in eastern North Carolina by advocating for affordable housing, public education, and economic opportunity. This is going to be the most competitive legislative race in the state this year, and a win here could block a GOP supermajority.

Oscar De Los Santos (AZ HD-11 – Phoenix)
Oscar De Los Santos is an internationally-recognized leader and the incumbent in Arizona’s 11th legislative district. He is a proven fighter for working families, voting rights, fair wages for teachers, and equality for all Arizonans. In April, he helped reverse Arizona’s draconian 1864 abortion law and became a new target for the GOP. We’re going to help him defend this seat so he can keep making progress.

Join us in the fight for a better tomorrow. Together, we can make history.

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