This year has been a whirlwind for politics. We started out the year with stories of an impassioned movement, often described as a “revolution” among young people participating in politics. Unfortunately, much of that talk fizzled following the presidential primary season, leaving many young people feeling powerless, disheartened, and skeptical of candidates and the elections process at large.
We have an opportunity to change that narrative of politics. We have to empower young people and show them how to use their voice. By focusing on issues rather than on candidates, perhaps we can reignite that same passion again in young people.
A group of Des Moines young progressive leaders came together to address this problem. This foundation was established by two Des Moines activists, Izaah Knox and Zachary Mannheimer, and The Political Party was born to reengage young people. By bringing them together through entertainment acts, local beer and TED-like presentations on issues affecting millennials, we hope to show politicians that we pay attention and that we can influence issues and elections.
The first Political Party event will take place this Friday, September 23 in Des Moines with a second event planned for Iowa City on October 7. The presenters at both events will speak on progressive solutions and offer calls to action that demonstrate how an individual can make a difference.
In Des Moines, Tom Vilsack, former Governor of Iowa, will speak on Iowa’s water quality; Dr. Glennda M. Bivens PhD, Community and Economic Field Specialist – Extension and Outreach at Iowa State University, will speak on college accessibility and affordability; and Tony Tarbox, Education Coordinator and Consultant for the cannabis education and training company ZolTrain will speak on legalizing marijuana.
Young people wield far more power and influence than we give ourselves credit for. Many young people don’t realize that they have access to elected officials. If we call or write our legislators and share how we feel about issues and policies, we will get a response. While they may not do what we want right away, we can begin to influence the process that way. The more young people who speak up and share their stories of how issues and policy decisions are affecting them, the more policymakers will begin to understand our unique positions.
Through this event series, we want to get our generation to not only vote, but to engage with policymakers, be passionate, and run for office. While no elected official will have a formal speaking role in these events, all politicians are invited to attend the events to listen, learn, and interact with young voters.
Des Moines Event Details:
Friday, September 23
320 Martin Luther King, Des Moines, IA
Doors open at 6:30 pm with the first entertainment acts starting at 7 pm
Admission is free with registration at our Facebook page and includes two free drinks
Maids – DJ set
Iowa Fly Girl – aerial performance
Movement 515 – poetry performances
Canby – musical performance
The Political Party Steering Committee
About The Political Party:
The Political Party is a group of young, progressive leaders hosting an issues-based events series in Iowa ahead of the 2016 election. The Political Party is action-oriented and designed to engage young voters by bringing together musical and performance acts, drinks and TED-like presentations from Iowans speaking on issues affecting young people. After the events, attendees will be motivated and equipped with direction for how to connect with elected officials and candidates to discuss solutions for progressive issues. The Political Party Event Series is underwritten by sponsors: Citizen’s for a Healthy Iowa, Pamela Bass Bookey And Harry Bookey Charitable Foundation and Ravi Patel. Follow event updates on twitter at @IAProgressParty and #PoliticalPartyIA and on facebook at https://www.facebook.com/thepoliticalpartyIA
by Mandy McWherter