This year has been difficult and challenging for us all. Though rather than sit back and wait for things to get better, we knew that political activism and engagement of our community was going to be critical this year as we faced an election, the threats of climate change, and so much more. Especially given the challenges of remote learning, I’m very proud of the work we did to continue making social change and helping our community during a time of need.
Here are some highlights:
New Voters Project
This Fall we teamed up with the Huskies Vote Coalition, including the CELE Center, UW Libraries, the Office of Student Life and more to make sure our campus turned out to vote in a big way this November. In just a few weeks, we announcements in over 50 virtual classes to help students register to vote, spread the word through social media and campus emails, and did hours and hours of phonebanking to reach thousands of students on campus to make sure they had a plan to vote. And, it paid off! Here in Washington youth voter turnout increased from 41% in 2016 to 58% in 2020!
Wildlife Over Waste
Last year we helped to pass the statewide ban on plastic grocery bags, and this year we helped get the state to take further action by banning single-use foam takeout containers. We’ve educated thousands of students about plastic and polystyrene foam pollution, hosted fun events like our sustainable DIY swap events to reduce plastic waste in our own lives, and delivered hundreds of petitions to our legislators at our lobby days to make sure young voices were heard.
Hunger and Homelessness
This year, communities across the country are facing additional challenges due to the global pandemic and more extreme weather events. To help, we teamed up with Tent City Collective, a group of UW students, alumni, community members, and people experiencing homelessness, working to bring Tent City 3 to the university for the second time since 2017. Our volunteers raised over $1,800 for the project, which helps hundreds of homeless people in Seattle this winter.
We also educated our campus and state leaders on the need to move to a clean transportation future, called on Congress to increase financial aid, raised awareness about the high cost of health care and prescription drugs, and more!
Thanks to everyone who supported us this year. Whether you volunteered, signed a petition, allowed a class announcement in your class, or spread the word about our work in other ways – we couldn’t have done it without you.