Natalie Brand, K5 News’ chief political reporter, came to interview our very own Toby Crittenden this morning.
Toby is a master narrator- he told The Bus’ story seamlessly. His hair also looked great (#TeamSaveIt).
Brand seemed interested in voter apathy and ways in which local organizations, such as The Bus, work to engage people. Brand asked, “Why is voter turnout lower in the tech community?” to which Toby responded, “I wish I could say that young people are a big, monolithic block, but they aren’t… If I moved across the country, I would be aware of what’s happening day to day, but it wouldn’t necessarily catch my heartstrings.”
Toby believes that the more time you spend in a city, the more likely you are to develop a keen awareness and passion for what’s happening around you. The tech community tends to be in-and-out, and it’s understandable that young people are likely to have strong roots and interests elsewhere. However, Toby argues that as tech community grows and solidifies, if in 10-20 years we are still asking that question, then we will have a huge problem.
On the efficacy of reaching out to young people, Toby explained The Youth Agenda’s four core issues are purely representative of young folks’ concerns and passions. Part of The Youth Agenda’s goals, beyond engaging young voters, is to make sure politicians know which issues young people care about as a means of enhancing their credibility.
When questioned about voter demographics and target populations, Toby explained that we ask ourselves, “where are the most young people, and where are the most people of color? We strongly believe in racial justice, and we try to target folks who are least likely to have access to information.” The Bus’ places a substantial focus on Districts 2 and 3, for example.
In relation to The Bus’ youth engagement, Toby relayed some of the super fun and cool things we do. He described Candidate survivor as a “…way to flip the Town Hall [paradigm] and take candidates out of their comfort zones… to ask real policy questions while creating an immediate feedback loop (i.e. text to vote).”
Kudos Toby, on a job well done!
This blog post was written by Natalie, a Public Policy major at Duke University and the Bus’ 2015 DukeEngage Intern.