As part of its activities scheduled around the political parties’ nominating conventions, Rock the Vote had planned to host two  receptions on August 31 and September 1st in Minneapolis to draw attention to and celebrate the political youth movement exploding in our country.

In light of developments in the Gulf region, the principal focus of our gatherings have changed.  At our events, we will be bringing together young people and our partners who are in Minnesota, to watch the events in the Gulf unfold and plan ways that we can draw attention to and assist those in need.

When the city of New Orleans still has empty homes and trailer parks three years after Hurricane Katrina, it was young people that began a campaign demanding change and leadership in our country volunteering in New Orleans and in their own communities at record numbers, bringing their frustration and hope for a better future to the ballot box at unprecedented levels.

While we don’t know what will happen in the Gulf region over the next couple days, tonight we will bring together our peers who are in Minnesota and make plans to respond as a community and a movement accordingly.  We will be asking attendees to both make a financial contribution to send young people to the region with Rock the Vote as well as sign up to help advance relief efforts and ensure all displaced young people can be registered in time for the elections.  Moreover, we’ll encourage attendees to motivate the organizations they represent to also do their part.

Amidst whatever happens, it is exactly events such as these that have had a profound effect on the Millennial Generation, helping them to realize the importance of their service and the role that   those we elect play at such critical times in our country.