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Lesson 7: Learn About the Power of Protesting

This lesson connects with the current climate which may be confusing to some young people who don’t know about the history of protesting. They have witnessed a lot these past few years and the death of George Floyd sparking international protests could be jarring. But when you look at the history of protests, it falls in line with American values which leads to which way one may vote. Check out this lesson and discuss on TWVocalize. Transcript: As the world protests against police brutality ignited by the murder of George Floyd by Minneapolis police, we should take a look at protests that resulted in change in policies in the USA. Let’s start this! On May 25, 2020, George Floyd, a 46-year old Black man died in the custody of Minneapolis, Minnesota’s Derek Chauvin (who is White) after he kneeled on his neck for nearly 9 minutes – ignoring Floyd’s pleas of help due to lack of oxygen. This video-recorded incident sparked outrage, at first nationwide, and then worldwide resulting in protests, riots, and looting and calling for police reform – which some cities are now seriously considering despite criticism from elected officials. But in what ways have other protests resulted in change in policies? Let’s go way back to find out. One of the earliest protests in American history was the Boston Tea Party on December 16, 1773. While Britain was in debt in the 1760s, the British Parliament felt it necessary to impose taxes on the American colonists to pay them. This led to taxing on printed paper down to glass and lead. Furious at being taxed unfairly or “without representation”, they took to the streets..or, Boston’s Griffin’s Warf specifically, and dumped 342 chests of imported British East India Company tea into the harbor. This sparked a 13-colony revolt against Britain eventually leading to independence. One of the most famous protests was the Montgomery Bus Boycott led by Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. On December 1, 1955, Rosa Parks was arrested for refusing to give her seat on a bus to a White passenger due to racial segregation. This led to the boycotting of city buses. Choosing to carpool or walk, it took 13 months and the financial collapse of the bus company before the Supreme Court ruled segregation on public buses unconstitutional. The March on Washington DC on August 28, 1963 is credited with building support for the Civil Rights Act of 1964 and the Voting Rights Act of 1965. So, when you see protesters, stop and listen to their voices and messages. Don’t let the noise distract you about riots or looters. That only delays the progress which could change this country for the better. How much further would we be as a society if those who had protested for basic human rights and equality under the law had only been listened to?

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Lesson 6: Explaining What Battleground States Are

Battleground states or swing states are states within the union that can be swayed during an election cycle to favor one party or another. Being a critical part of reaching the Electoral vote count of 270 which leads to the presidency, a battleground state is fought hard. Watch the video hosted by high school sophomore Gabriel Lopez. And don’t forget to subscribe to the channel, and discuss on TWVocalize! Transcript: Have you ever looked up an election map during primaries and wonder what a battleground state is and if you live in one? Well let me try to explain this to you. Let’s do this! Every presidential election have the candidates heavily campaigning in what’s called “Battleground States”. But what exactly does that mean anyway? Well, a battleground state (or swing state) are states within the country which could wind up in the favor of each competing presidential candidate once the election happens. So, both Republican and Democratic candidates fight for those particular states. The Electoral Map is the road to the presidency. Whichever candidate can reach 270 electoral votes, which are decided by the voters, then they win the coveted elected office and become president. Each state represents a certain number of electors which means the race to 270 is critical as each state counts. But especially battleground states since they can decide an election. The states considered battleground states in this election cycle are Arizona, Colorado, Florida, Georgia, Iowa, Maine, Michigan, North Carolina, Ohio, Pennsylvania, Texas, and Wisconsin. The numbers can add up significantly for the one vying for the presidency. For instance, Arizona has 11 Electoral College votes. Florida has 29 Electoral College votes. Ohio, 18, Texas, 38, and North Carolina, 15. These states can either swing toward the Republican or Democratic candidate. But in order to determine where the battleground states wind up – red or blue – the decision is always up to you as a registered voter. If you’re 18 or older on Election day in November, you can make that decision. Not registered? Visit www.tomorrowwevote.org/register and sign up. You’re the key to 270 and the next 4 years.

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Lesson 5: What Is the County Board of Supervisors?

The County Board of Supervisors oversees issues county-wide for each state. Their positions resemble City Council but have a much larger reach. Click into the video below to view what they’re about and how they function in your life. Visit TWVocalize and join in to discuss the video and position. Transcript: Welcome to another Tomorrow We Vote University lesson. As we focus on local elected positions, let’s find out what the County Board of Supervisors is. Don’t know? Let’s find out. Let’s go! The County Board of Supervisors is a lot like the City Council positions except covers a lot more area. As the title suggests, they cover the county of the state they’ve been elected into. For instance, in Arizona, where they’re elected to four-year terms, Maricopa County has a Board of Supervisors as does Pinal County, Pima, Apache, and the others in the state. County Board of Supervisors also exists in California, Iowa, Mississippi, Wisconsin, and several counties in New York. Other states may not have the specific title of County Board of Supervisors but have equivalent agencies. Your state may have something called County Council or County Commission. New Jersey has the Board of chosen freeholders. Check your state for the duties of the county supervisors. These duties include approving the county budget. Some may even be responsible for collecting state taxes as well as levy taxes such as property or sales tax. These boards oversee county departments and like in New Jersey, authorizing expenditures and bonds as well as passing on all claims against the county. It sounds like a lot of work for a voter to choose who should sit on this board. When the time comes, choose carefully, and look up their public meetings. Where you live may depend on its impact and on your wallet.

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Lesson 4: Discussing The Role of State Senators

In our attempt to focus on local governments, this lesson is regarding the duties of State Senators and how it differs or relates to State Representatives. Watch the video below to become informed and visit TWVocalize to express your opinion! Transcript: The legislative branch doesn’t just have House members so let’s discuss Senators and what their role is in government. Intro! The other part of the Legislative branch of government consists of the Senate. In case you missed the lesson on the State House of Representatives, go back and visit to understand how they differ from the Senate. Senators also take an oath to uphold the Constitution of the United States and their own states. They’re also voted in by eligible voters from within their state. Their job differs slightly from Representatives, though. Also representing districts inside of their states, there are fewer Senators than Representatives. For instance, in Arizona, the Legislature consists of only 30 Senators; one from each district. Their terms are also two years. Senators can introduce and draft legislation, enact bills, and also place constitutional amendments for voters to decide. Senators can also confirm or reject gubernatorial appointees for Executive branches of government. And it’s the Senate who have the ability to try, convict, and remove elected officials by order of impeachment. State Senators may vary by each state so look into your own state to see where those changes may lay. But there’s no doubt Senators hold a lot of power in the state which also includes tax increases and annual state budgets. Imagine how much power YOU have as a voter considering you can decide who represents you…or not. Think about that.

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Lesson 3: Explaining The 25th Amendment

As an extra lesson for this week, we dive into the 25th Amendment. Due to a trending of the late-term amendment to the Constitution, we felt we needed to let young people know what the importance and significance of this amendment is. When you vote for someone, you want to make sure it’s the right choice for you. If something goes wrong with that choice, there are safeguards put in place. Watch the video below and it will explain. Don’t forget to join TWVocalize to discuss further. Transcript: You may be seeing online people calling for the 25th Amendment. We’re all familiar with the first and second but the 25th? Well, let’s clear that up for you. C’mon! We know the first amendment to the Constitution includes the freedom of speech, religion, assembly and more. We are familiar with the 2nd amendment’s right to bear arms. But what is the 25th amendment? Well, after the assassination of John F. Kennedy, the 35th president of the United States, plans had to be set in place for a president’s successor. The 25th amendment was an effort to resolve some of the continuing issues revolving about the Presidential office. Such as what happens upon death, removal or resignation of the President and what proceeds that action. * It was already set in place for the Vice President to become the successor but what happens when the vice-president is unable to serve? Or what if the president is comatose like Garfield was for 81 days before dying? Or Wilson after a stroke? If the Vice-president stepped up, would he or she be acting president or president? And if the original president recovers, who would be President? After the Kennedy assassination and an empty Vice-Presidency, Congress acted. Thus, the 25th Amendment was born! The 25th Amendment was used in the 70s when Nixon’s Vice-President, Spiro Agnew resigned and he nominated Gerald Ford. It was used again when Nixon resigned as President and Ford became president on the same day, August 9, 1974. Then, it was used once again, since Ford needed a Vice-President and on August 20, 1974, Nelson Rockerfeller was appointed and confirmed! So, when you see people calling for the 25th Amendment, now, you know. They’re calling for the removal of a president.

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Lesson 2: What Do State Representatives Actually Do?

This week’s lesson revolves around State Representatives. We vote them in but do you know what they do in your state capitol? Watch the video and discuss among yourselves or wherever you see the video posted. Click below to view the video and join TWVocalize to discuss. Video Transcript: Hey! Do you feel like learning something important? Well, let’s talk about what a State House Representative actually does! Let’s go! A state house representative is part of the Legislative branch of state government. Each state will have their own elected number of representatives which make up the State House. For instance, Arizona has 60 Representatives which makes up 2 house members per district. Considering there are 30 districts in the entire state, the numbers coincide with how many reps make up the state. The House can draft, introduce, and vote on legislation. They have the ability to enact laws and propose amendments to the state constitution as well. Like the United States House of Representatives, the State House of Representatives hold the power to impeach elected state officials whereas the Senate holds trials and convictions. The terms for the Arizona State House is for two years. That’s when you as a voter come into play to vote them in or vote them out. Not bad for so much power to hold. Each state may vary when it comes to duties and age restrictions, so check your state for specifics. Hmm.. Maybe that sounds like something you’d like to run for someday.

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Lesson 1: Why Do We Vote on Novembers and on Tuesdays?

On our weekly lessons, we’ll discuss why we vote on Novembers and Tuesdays for election dates. It’s pretty simple as to why that happens but with Early Voting methods, personal voting days can vary for each individual voter. Click below to view the video and join TWVocalize to discuss it. Transcript: Have you ever wondered why federal elections are always held on a Tuesday or why presidential and mid-terms are held in November? Well, believe it or not but farming has a lot to do with it. In 1845, Congress passed a federal law designating the first Tuesday following the first Monday in November as Election Day.* But let’s backtrack to even before that time. When the Founding Fathers met at the Constitutional Convention during the summer of 1787 for a brief moment, they left things unresolved and were too exhausted to continue. One of the items left on the table was when federal elections should be held? Considering that incomplete, states were left to decide their own voting dates and that left the country with several decades of chaotic voting timetables.** This brings us to 1845 where lawmakers had decided that Monday couldn’t be a possible voting day due to traveling to polls in their buggies on Sundays which was the Sabbath. And considering most worked as farmers and lived far from their polling stations, they decided Tuesdays would be a much better fit since Wednesdays was Market Day for farmers.* Now, this explains Tuesdays but why November? Well, Spring and early Summer elections interfered with planting season and late summer and early fall elections would overlap with the harvest season. November fit the bill because by then, the harvest was complete and in time before the harsh winters. As a result, Election Day is only a civic holiday in states which include Hawaii, New York, New Jersey, and others as well as the territory of Puerto Rico. Some states have made it easier to vote early and by mail which gives voters better opportunities to cast their decisions without waiting till election day to stand in poll lines. Maybe one day voters will come together to help make Election Day a federal holiday to give people the opportunity to vote and increase turnout. That will be up to you! *History.com** NPR

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Introducing Tomorrow We Vote University!

During this pandemic, we’re urging everybody to stay safe, keep washing your hands, staying healthy as possible, and make the best out of a bad situation. We know it’s difficult and young people love staying active. With school and our planned presentations canceled, we felt the need to create something to help young people stay engaged and learn about voting in the process. Welcome to Tomorrow We Vote University or TWVU. This will be a resource hub where we’ve created a space for young people to be able to learn more about voting, increase their awareness, understand their own power better, and urge others to get involved. Our presentations have been made in front of thousands of students and we didn’t want the momentum to stop. TWVU is designed as a weekly updated process with new videos, new quizzes, and other resources updated. The site will naturally expand as ideas are introduced, young people help build, and also they become the face of TWVU. There will even be times when young people will read and write the video scripts as well as create their own quizzes regarding voting and the political process. We encourage anyone under the age of 25 to get involved and complete a profile on our social network, TWVocalize. This way, the future leaders of this next generation will be able to share ideas in a safe environment and with Tomorrow We Vote’s resources and mentorship. If this sounds like a good idea, please head on over and fill out your registration. This current situation of distance doesn’t have to remove engagement. We just have to think outside of the box and make due. The future won’t stop so we hope the young people take control of it. Visit: https://www.twvu.org

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State of Arizona Executive Order – Stay Home Order

Arizona Governor, Doug Ducey has enacted an executive order called “Stay Home, Stay Healthy, Stay Connected – Physical Distancing to Mitigate COVID-19 Transmission.” It’s designed to keep people home during the coronavirus epidemic that’s sweeping the country. The order asks for citizens to only exit their dwellings for essential items and activities. It’s not as strict as people should take as this pandemic spreads around the world. As COVID-19 reaches passed 1,157 contractions and 20 deaths in Arizona alone, we recommend everyone just stay home. Don’t go outside unless you need to. Wash your hands thoroughly, and avoid people at a 6-foot distance when in passing. We need kids to return healthy to school when this is settled. To see the governor’s Executive Order, please view it below or download it here.

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