Wednesday, July 28, 2004
Rock the Vote isn't the only agency trying to encourage youth voting. Check out our list of the premier youth-targeted voting programs:
• Declare Yourself, a nonpartisan voter-registration group started by the television producer Norman Lear, raised two giant billboards in Times Square showing Christina Aguilera and André 3000 with their mouths held shut, next to the message, "Only you can silence yourself."
The group's Web site, declareyourself.com, offers up a mixture of t-shirts, information and even special-edition Declaration of Independence films featuring the voices of Ed Norton, Winona Ryder, Whoopi Goldberg and more. With a hip, cartoon-illustrated home page, the site is high on aesthetics and how-to's, but offers no concrete information on issues.
•Votervirgin.com features more than a few sexually suggestive voting slogans like "Everyone's doing it in 2004" to ge its message out.
• Groups like PunkVoter.com are directly targeted against Bush. An illustrated Bush picture features the word "Veto" on his forehead and deMOCKracy encircling his face. The site has the requisite store with t-shirts and other cool voting gear, but it also features political columns and cartoons written by members. The Web site stresses its goal: "This is about getting everyone to mobilize as a block of concerned voters. Punk bands, punk labels, and punk fans must form a union against the chaotic policies George W. Bush has put in place. He must be exposed."
• Hip-Hop Action Summit Network, hsan.org, is "dedicated to harnessing the cultural relevance of hip-hop music to serve as a catalyst for education advocacy and other societal concerns fundamental to the well-being of at-risk youth throughout the United States." Through its Hip-Hop Team Vote section, it also hopes to mobilize voters. Pictures of conventions featuring a