BROOKLYN, N.Y.--(BUSINESS WIRE)--Democracy Works, Inc. announced today the launch of a brand new initiative with the goal of achieving 80 percent voter turnout in the U.S. by the year 2020. This is a historic goal. The last time the U.S. achieved a voter turnout rate over 80 percent was in 1888. The TurboVote Challenge brings together some of the most innovative and influential businesses in the country, all in an effort to create a more representative and inclusive democracy. The founding partners of The TurboVote Challenge are:
Led by the nonpartisan, nonprofit Democracy Works, The TurboVote Challenge asks partners to commit to helping increase civic-social outreach, encouraging employees and customers to register to vote, ensure their registration information is updated, and to participate in local and national elections. Founding partner companies represent organizations that are scaling and leading their industries. They are working toward a common goal of enhancing participatory democracy and increased voter turnout.
Participating companies will demonstrate their commitment by designing civic engagement plans that could include: promoting voter registration and awareness among their employees, using communication channels to share The TurboVote Challenge with customers and stakeholders, sponsoring awareness campaigns to keep people engaged and voting, and encouraging civic discussions and volunteer efforts. Democracy Works will be available to provide planning and implementation support to TurboVote Challenge partners upon request.
Significantly higher voter turnout can be achieved by ensuring that voting fits the 21st century lifestyle. The U.S. Census Bureau consistently reports that 60 percent of people who don't vote identify process issues as the problem. TurboVote was created to solve these process-oriented problems. Furthermore, The Challenge embraces collaboration across America from colleges and universities to businesses to nonprofit organizations, and everything in between, all focused on the one simple goal of creating greater participation in our democracy.
What The TurboVote Challenge partners have to say:
Airbnb head of global policy and public affairs Chris Lehane: “Every vote matters and we should do all we can to make sure that everyone can participate in our democracy. Airbnb hosts and guests are engaged in the communities they call home and we're eager to help everyone participate in the important conversations that will shape the future of our country, our democracy and our world.”
Alberto Olivas, executive director, Congressman Ed Pastor Center for Politics & Public Service at Arizona State University’s College of Public Service and Community Solutions: “Our partnership with TurboVote has been a key tool to promoting student-led political and electoral engagement, with a strong focus on voting and elections. We are enthusiastic about working with Democracy Works in partnership with Starbucks and a national coalition of entities to further support student efforts to increase voter education and turnout especially among the less-well represented communities in our state.”
Democracy Works co-founder and executive director Seth Flaxman: “For us to succeed, mass civic participation can't be someone else's job. It can’t just be the nonprofit or political people. It will only happen if it's a job that belongs to all of us. This initiative will keep growing, with the help of more companies and organizations that decide to join. There is nothing more powerful than a majority of people voting for something.”
Democracy Works co-founder and chief operations officer Kathryn Peters: “Voter turnout last topped 80 percent in a national election 128 years ago. Reaching that level of turnout again will require large-scale, sustained efforts from across the country. I’m excited to see what kinds of unexpected participants we can bring together toward that goal, and how they’ll each contribute to increasing civic engagement.”
FUSION senior vice president of social impact Chad Boettcher: “The face of America is changing and FUSION's goal this year is to inform and empower the new multicultural majority to make their voices heard at the ballot box. We are thrilled to be partnering with Democracy Works to drive voter engagement and turnout with our young, diverse audience.”
Lyft president and co-founder John Zimmer: “We're proud to be a part of a coalition that further empowers our community to affect positive change by encouraging everyone to vote. We know firsthand how new approaches can democratize traditional systems, and believe strongly in greater democratic involvement.”
Mic chief operating officer and co-founder Chris Altchek: “At Mic, we believe in our generation's ability to make change happen. Our generation has tremendous strength in numbers, but we need to do everything we can to inspire turnout. Mic is proud to be a launch partner of Democracy Works and excited about reaching for the goal of 80% voter turnout.”
Spotify global head of public policy, Jonathan Prince: “We're big believers in civic engagement, participation and free expression at Spotify, and democratic voting is where all of that comes together. We're excited to be part of the TurboVote challenge and to use our unique access to millions of millennials to help make sure their voices are heard in upcoming elections.”
Starbucks chairman and chief executive officer Howard Schultz: “Now more than ever we need to elevate citizenship above partisanship in America, and working to increase voter registration and participation will help more people recognize how much their voices matter. For decades we’ve taken great pride in the ways our partners (employees) have created meaningful connections with our customers and communities in which we serve. In partnership with like-minded organizations, and with the modern convenience of the TurboVote tool, helping to increase voter turnout at the local and national level is yet another meaningful way to use our scale for good.”
Target executive vice president & chief corporate social responsibility officer Laysha Ward: “Target has a long history of being an active citizen and a valued neighbor in the communities where we live and work. We believe engaged citizens generate a healthy democracy – one where we can create a brighter and healthier future for our guests, team members and communities. We know we can’t do it alone, and are pleased to join hands with other organizations and Democracy Works to help build greater voter engagement and a world where we all feel we have a voice.”
theSkimm co-founders Danielle Weisburg and Carly Zakin: “theSkimm is a company that makes it easier to be smarter. We are committed to informing our audience about the political issues that impact this country and motivate them to vote. That's why we are excited to partner with Democracy Works to increase voter turnout.”
Univision Communications Inc. president and chief executive officer Randy Falco: “As a mission-driven company, Univision is committed to informing and empowering Hispanic, millennial and multicultural audiences to reach their full potential in the United States. In this pivotal election year, we’re proud to be making an impact with our Vote For Your America campaign and are excited to join Democracy Works to bring even more attention and support to this critical challenge for our nation—the future of our country will depend on all Americans being more civically engaged.”
Westfield US chief operating officer William Hecht: “In the spirit of public service and consistent with our shopping centers’ role as community gathering places, as ongoing hosts for societal and civic activities such as voter registration, polling places and more, Westfield welcomes the opportunity to join in this important initiative to further inspire voter engagement and participation.”
Entertainment Software Association senior vice president of communications and industry affairs Rich Taylor: “As the influence of computer and video games in our culture has grown, so has the need for gamers to participate in federal, state and local elections. Members of the Video Game Voters Network work to make sure their voices are heard in government offices across the country, educating officials about the positive impacts of video games while also protecting the First Amendment rights of those who create the games they love."
The TurboVote Challenge Media Kit can be found at: democracy.works/challenge-media-kit
Further information about The TurboVote Challenge can be found at: democracy.works/challenge